It’s an overused phrase, but the old adage that ‘our employees are our greatest assets’ has become hackneyed precisely because it is true. All truly great businesses understand that they are only profitable and successful because of the people they employ to create/work on the products or services they provide.
This holds true for medical and health practices too. Happy employees = happy patients.
Have you ever been in to see a doctor and been put off by a grumpy receptionist, or rude accounts person? The patient experience is so interlinked across the whole practice it is impossible to pretend it can be constrained simply to the element of ‘seeing the doctor’, that the way all practise staff behave does not have an impact on overall patient satisfaction.
The one thing I know for certain is that when you get the people matters right within your practice, then your practice is more successful, more profitable and everyone who works with you is more satisfied, and satisfied people are happier people…and happy employees = happy patients.
But how is this a Human Resources (HR) matter? Surely any old person can oversee the creation of a truly great workplace and content employees. In the same way that you hire a Certified Practicing Accountant for your taxes, you hire a qualified HR professional to oversee the creation of a great workplace within your practice. HR is too multifaceted and complex to be side-lined to anyone with a pulse.
Unless you have a fully automated business with zero people except for you, when you employee people you create risks. And HR’s primary purpose is to mitigate risk within organisations. HR mitigates the legal, organisational and operational risks of employing people to work in a practice.
HR takes up the sometimes hard task and does what is best for the practice to mitigate risk: risk of poor performance, risk of hiring the wrong person, risk to health & safety, risk that bullying, discrimination, harassment or victimisation will not only destroy the individual/s involved but cause irreparable harm to the practice.
It is a corny catch phrase these days to say 'our people are our business'. And I agree, it's trite, over used and under recognised for what is actually means. Catch phrases have that tendency; repeated so often their meaning is lost or marginalised. So let me, perhaps crudely, rephrase it for you. Shit people give you shit results. Great people treated poorly give you shit results. But average people treated well will give you good results. And great people treated well will do amazing things for your practice, including your profit margins. So, you do the maths, because a dedicated HR professional will make your practice better.
For more advice on how to realise a happy healthy workplace and get HR right in your medical practice, contact The Fiddes Group