The holiday season is here, and with it comes every distraction that could push your employees off-task. Candy, costumes, decorations, vacation…the list is endless.
In this article, we’ll share the steps you should take to motivate & manage your team throughout the holidays.
One of the top challenges of any practice executive is to create a sense of responsibility among employees towards the practice. Employees who lack this will under-perform. But they also may feel discontented when extra duties are required and become toxic toward fellow coworkers.
Have you ever had two or more employees demand to take the same days off during the holidays?
A large portion of that discontent stems from not feeling a sense of teamwork toward their peers, nor any real responsibility for the overall condition of the practice.
One way to solve this problem is to encourage employees to socialize outside of the office. We are all less likely to clash with a coworker who is also a friend, than we are one whom we feel no emotional connection to.
The holidays provide an opportunity for this – office parties, Secret Santa games, and other ways of building strong relationships among your employees are an important part of your HR System…a system which will prevent unnecessary arguments or tension.
A toxic environment does more than simply lower morale. If unhandled, one toxic team member is like the proverbial apple – they can spoil the whole barrel. Good staff are often the first to go, and the worst employees begin to out-number those who actually care about your patients, clients or profits.
We all know that the first place to look when a toxic culture is present is at the hiring process. Proper techniques for filtering applicants who would be a bad fit are the topic of other articles here at The Practice Solution.
But what about toxicity that comes from outside your practice?
Consider this – over the holidays, employees are faced with visiting family & friends who may not be the most positive influence over them. This situation is one we have seen time and again…you hire the right person, only – they are connected to a toxic external environment which you have no control over.
How do we solve this problem?
The first thing to remember is that you are not a mental health clinic. You are also not obligated to solve all your employee’s familial problems.
But a good, productive employee can become a genuine source of trouble for your practice if this situation is not detected and prevented – or at least dealt with.
Here are steps you can take:
1. Strengthen Your HR System
In every practice, there are certain vital systems that must be in place for smooth and efficient operation. Even in a small clinic, the HR function must be worn. Assign this duty to the practice manager if they are trained, or otherwise ensure it is sufficiently covered.
Take the opportunity before the holidays start to communicate to your team about toxicity. Raise awareness in your team of the effects of stress on their performance. Encourage them to seek proper help for emotional or verbal abuse.
Learning to recognize the signs of abuse or antisocial behavior can be a powerful tool all in itself.
3. Provide Resources
Resources exist to help employees handle situations at home or in their environment that are affecting performance. Sometimes a little roleplaying or drilling a scenario also goes a long way. Offer to help guide them to trained professionals who can help.
If you feel you would benefit from a one on one consultation on any practice management questions or concerns, please fill out the form on this page and we would be more than willing to assist you.