Dear Doctor: Here’s Why I’m a Long-term Employee
What makes employees happy and prevents turnover in practice.
By Aimee Earp
Employee turnover continues to be a hot topic among practice owners. Losing an employee is costly for a practice, and it is time-consuming to go through the process of posting a job opening, interviewing candidates, and onboarding a new hire. To prevent yourself from being stuck in a continuous hiring cycle focus on your employees’ happiness. Understand the factors that likely lead an employee to remain loyal to your practice by reading the letter below—it’s an example of what a satisfied, long-term employee might write to a physician-owner, explaining why he or she stays with the practice.
I’ve been a dedicated employee of yours for 10 years, and I’ve enjoyed my time working for you for several reasons. As a thank you, I wanted to take a moment to explain why I’ve decided to carry out my career at your practice—and why I intend to stay—by listing the ways you’ve created a positive work environment.
1 You offer flexibility.
You realize that I and my fellow coworkers lead busy lives outside of the practice and allow for some flexibility in our work schedules when needed. This allows me to meet my personal obligations, while being fully engaged when I am in the practice. While each day may bring something unexpected, each employee works hard and is accountable while on the clock. This is how we show our gratitude to you for being a flexible boss.
2 You care about me as a person.
You ask about my life outside of the practice, expressing interest in my family, hobbies, and general well-being. This demonstrates how much you care about your team and their lives. This personal touch helps us have a caring, respectful, and honest relationship. I know that I am more than just a number to you.
3 You don’t micromanage.
You trust your employees to do their job and train them appropriately, understanding that constant supervision is not needed. The training plan, including the onboarding calendar, provided me with a terrific outline of what was expected of me. By giving me the freedom to figure out how to meet my responsibilities, it allows me to increase my efficiency and productivity, ultimately benefiting the team and practice. Conversely, your trust in me to do my job empowers me and heightens my job satisfaction.
4 You provide opportunities for advancement.
You allow those with a desire to move up within the practice to grow their professional skills by offering continuing education, training, and mentoring. This makes me feel supported in reaching my full potential. It also encourages me to challenge myself, knowing there are paths for advancement and resources in place to aid me in my efforts. These growth opportunities have allowed me to expand my skills and responsibilities, making my life more fulfilling both in and out of the office.
5 You compensate me fairly.
You pay me a wage that is appropriate for my position and the marketplace. On top of this, you provide competitive benefits, such as health insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, and investment options. This helps me feel valued and gives me a feeling of security. In the end, it allows me to spend less time worrying about my financial future and more time focusing on how I can help our practice be productive and profitable.
6 You give acknowledgement.
You recognize when good work is done by rewarding employees with words of encouragement, extra time off, a bonus, and other forms of acknowledgement. Knowing that you recognize my work and effort makes me feel appreciated and valued as an employee. It motivates me each day to go above and beyond what is expected and ensure your recognition is well-founded and deserved.
7 You provide honest, regular feedback.
You tell me where I am excelling and areas of improvement through brief check-ins and regular performance reviews. Not constantly wondering about my performance allows me to be more decisive and productive. What I appreciate the most is your direct and honest feedback on what I can specifically improve upon. This feedback provides me an opportunity to learn and grow. Through your open communication, I always know where I stand with you and within the organization, giving me peace of mind.
8 You practice what you preach.
You hold yourself to the same expectations that you set for your employees. Not only is this a good reflection of your character; it also shows me that you are an accountable and trustworthy leader. Essentially, you are a role model within the practice. Through your actions, you teach and reinforce staff how to treat one another, along with how to treat our patients. This makes the practice a pleasant place to work.
9 You create a healthy team culture.
You realize the importance of culture and constantly seek to improve ours by embracing teamwork, fostering accountability, treating others with respect, and trusting your team in a way that makes working in the practice a joy. Having a healthy, pleasant work environment is one of the reasons I love working here. I’ve seen your efforts to promote practice culture through team-building events and investing in staff’s interpersonal skills. You recognize that each person contributes to the work environment, and together, we can create a practice that staff and patients want to be a part of.
10 You instill trust.
Through your excellent leadership, my coworkers and I trust you implicitly. We trust you to treat us fairly. We trust you to be honest. We trust you to support us. We’re confident that you will make the best decisions for the practice, as they directly impact us. When times are tough, we know that you will steer the practice in the right direction. Many people wish they could work for a trustworthy boss—and I consider myself fortunate that I do.
Good Leadership is Key
By incorporating the practices outlined above, you can become a leader that is admired and respected by staff. Leaders have a direct impact on employee satisfaction and retention. If you want your practice’s employee roster to remain stable, you must treat staff well. Not only will this help you retain talent, but it will improve customer service, productivity, and ultimately, the practice’s bottom line. This creates a healthy, resilient organization that people are proud to work for and be employed by.