Managing Eye Care Employees: The Millennial Edition

Posted by Janelle Pauli on Tue, Oct 02, 2018 @ 12:10 PM

We understand the challenges that many eyecare practices go through to find and hire quality, long-term employees for their practice. Seeing as many ODs suffer from high staff turnover rates, they're cautious to hire young employees who will stick around and grow with the practice for a few years. Millennial employees can make a big impact on your practice because they're comfortable with new technology, quick learners, and goal-oriented generally.

However, if you've never had millennial staff before, there are a few things you should know about their professional style when you hire them. Let's look at a few different characteristics some millennial employees might possess, and a few different management tips you can take away for hanging onto these employees in your practice. 

How to Retain Millennial Staff

Manage Career ExpectationsMillennials blog image

A trait of many millennials is that they like to set goals and expectations for their career path while responding well to instant gratification. This is something you can help manage and envision for new hires by setting timelines for goals alongside raises, promotions, or bonuses that are tied to meeting those goals. 

Provide Opportunities to Give Back

An easy and rewarding benefit that you can offer to your employees is the opportunity to get involved with community volunteering, events, and activities. This could double as marketing and awareness for your practice, too. If you are offering paid time off for employees to volunteer in the community, you could ask your staff to wear a practice branded t-shirt for the volunteer event and take a photo to share on your social media page. 

Communicate Effectively

Another part of instant gratification ties into how millennials like to communicate and get feedback. Waiting around for annual reviews doesn't deliver the short-term growth millennials might crave. They much prefer quicker feedback, positive and negative, on day-to-day tasks or shorter projects. On top of providing timely and quick communication, you might also consider how you reach out to employees via text or email instead of just phone calls and in-person catch ups.

Embrace the Team

Millennials were raised working in groups and teams, and many of them prefer this type of working environment. You can embrace the idea of team in your eyecare practice by setting up practice wide, quarterly goals. Once group goals are met, reward the team. This could be something like bringing in lunch or breakfast to the office, holding an out of office happy hour, or another team building activity.

Encourage Education

Probably all of the employees in your practice value their education and the ability to continue to grow throughout their career, not just your millennials. What can you do in your practice to encourage educational growth? Are you able to help pay for online classes or for CE at tradeshows? Investing money into education for your employees is another way to put money back into your business. 

Become a Tech Savvy Practice

Millennials probably won't be too impressed with your practice if you're still running things like the 90's. Millennials are known for being a tech savvy generation, so use this to your advantage. Ask them for advice on making your practice more modern with EHR or practice management solutions, or let them be your practice's voice on social media. Utilizing modern technology and devices can impress both new employees and patients, because it shows you're invested in the long-term relevance and growth of your practice.

A modern practice attracts modern employees. Download our free ebook to make your practice a welcoming place for millennial staff. 

Download the "Optometry Software Playbook For Running A Modern Practice" ebook.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on March 8th, 2016. It has been updated for relevance and richness of content on October 2nd, 2018  

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