Eyecare Practice Efficiency: What's Causing Your Staff Turnover?

It can be tempting to shrug off high staff turnover, crediting it to a bad batch of hires, but if turnover is becoming a prevailing problem, the fault might lay within your practice. Experts say that finding and training a replacement employee can cost upward of twice the employee's salary, so if you're constantly hiring new staff, you could be hurting your eyecare practice efficiency, and your budget more than you realize.

Before you can start to solve the problem, you need to find out if one even exists. To calculate your turnover rate, divide the number of employees who left your practice by the total number of employees you started the period with, and multiply by 100. This percentage is your employee turnover rate. Acording to the Bureau of National Affairs, the average employee turnover rate is 0.7 percent per month. If your practice is surpassing the national average, it might be time for a change. We have several questions you can ask to determine what might be causing your staff turnover.

7 Questions to Ask Yourself in Order to Decrease Staff Turnover and Boost Eyecare Practice Efficiency

Are you hiring the right people from the start?Hiring tips for optometrists

The answer to this question is the most important regarding staff turnover. You should be checking more than a potential employee’s skills to see if they are the right fit for your practice. Determining whether or not an employee will fit in with the culture of your practice is critical. Someone who doesn’t match a company’s culture likely won’t last long. Finding a staff member who will fit in with the rest of your eye care team not only increases the chance that they will remain with your company long-term, but it also enhances the efficiency of your practice by boosting teamwork!

Are you doing your part to strengthen employee engagement?

We can’t stress enough how vital a positive work environment is. If you’re not showing your staff how much you appreciate their hard-work, then chances are they won’t feel compelled to work hard! Some ideas for strengthening engagement are to encourage your employees through peer-recognition programs, or monthly memos that outline achievement. However, don’t fall into the trap of patting everyone on the back for a job well-done. The goal here is to highlight those employees who are going above and beyond, while encouraging others to do the same. Employee engagement can come in an array of forms - never underestimate the power of a hand-written thank you note!

Are you paying attention to your staff’s individual needs?

Each employee you bring into your practice brings with them a different personality, and a different set of capabilities and sensitivities. While it is important to treat everyone fairly, you must be aware that the way in which each employee will react and respond to situations will vary. When it comes to feedback and guidance in your practice, you might want to consider going about it differently for each unique member of your staff. For example, some people prefer cut and dry criticism on their work, while others prefer a softer approach to discussing areas of improvement. Meeting the individual needs of each team member shows high leadership on your part, and will create inspired employees who feel loyal to your practice!

Are you setting the right compensation and benefits?

What an employee expects, what they deserve, and what you are offering in terms of compensation and benefits should all align. Working with human resources to stay up-to-date on industry standards for pay packages can help prevent staff turnover. Remembering that each employee is unique, it may also be necessary for you to be flexible when it comes to things like work schedules and bonus structures. Don’t ever assume that these things are set in stone, it is important to go back and review them annually, making any needed adjustments.

eyecare practice efficiencyAre you outlining clear and challenging paths for your staff?

No one wants to feel stagnant in their career. You know that it is important to share with your team the goals for your overall practice, but it is also important to set individual goals. There should be a clear set path for each employee regarding their role in your practice. This path should be exciting in order to keep each team member driven. An idea for setting these paths is to outline how each staff member is contributing to your overall practice goal. An employee who feels like they are moving forward within a practice is less likely to leave.

Is your company suffering from “turnover fever”?

Mob mentality could be setting in if a few employees leave and others soon follow suit. This could be because your staff feels loyal to one another, or just because they are inspired by someone else taking the first step. Either way, you can prevent this by conducting exit interviews with your leaving staff. This allows you to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your practice, so you can prevent the turnover fever from spreading. Employees leaving a company are more likely to feel comfortable speaking freely about their reasons for saying goodbye to your practice, offering you important insight on what you can do to prevent other staff from doing the same in the future.

Are your competitors attracting your staff?

What do other practices in your area offer employees that you don’t? The answer is important. Technology and social media offer countless platforms for people to discover new job opportunities. While this works as an advantage when your practice is looking to hire new staff, it can also be a disadvantage since your competitors can use these same platforms. Encourage your staff to be open about what your competition is offering them. This open communication both allows you to see how you size up with competitors, and creates trust between you and your staff. Once you learn what the competition is doing you can make the necessary adjustments to keep your staff around!

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