The Pygmalion and The Golem, Who’s Running Your Company?

The Pygmalion and The Golem, Who’s Running Your Company?

In the 1960’s researchers set out to study what most of us know as the self-fulfilling prophecy. The results of this study, and many since then, is called the Pygmalion Effect and it states, in the most simple terms, that because you expect someone to excel, they will excel. The assumed reverse of this is the Golem Effect. The Golem Effect has never been actively tested because of ethics and morality issues, but it is assumed to be true because of nature’s tendency towards opposites balancing each other out.

What does this have to do with anything in your company? The surprising answer is, probably everything, and it might be time to shake up teams and management to use the results of these effects to benefit your company, instead of throttling your potential.

A huge part of what makes the Pygmalion or Golem Effects work is the fact that those in charge don’t know they are causing it to happen. Human beings, like most animals, have innumerable sub-conscious signals they send to the people around them. It’s what makes you feel like someone doesn’t think you can do your job, even though they have always been very professional towards you in every way, you just FEEL it. That feeling eventually causes the majority of people to stop trying and leads to lower and lower morale and even worse productivity.

There are several methods to use the Pygmalion Effect to your benefit, and your comfort level is often the deciding factor of which you should use. The two most prevalent in testing currently have so far offered the best results, though the second is fairly new and still being refined for the most efficient use.

The first is the easiest, but often makes many people uncomfortable, as it literally requires the telling of a few lies. The very first studies on the Pygmalion Effect involved testing the subjects, and then lying to the supervisor (or teacher as the case may be) about who’s test said they would be superior in a year’s time. The lie created a completely sub-conscious effort on behalf of the supervisor to see the subject excel. They smiled more when the subject talked, leaned forward and really listened, and offered meaningful responses more often when interacting with the “superior” subjects as opposed to the rest of the group.

More recent efforts to remove the dishonesty have shown that giving those same supervisors review forms to fill about their team/group, then video taping supervisors as they interact with the group, and finally showing them how they react to others based on how they feel about them can sometimes achieve the same results, once the supervisor understands and believes in the Pygmalion and Golem Effects. It takes a little longer and sometimes repeated efforts, but it also introduces a new level of both honesty and intimacy to the team that may create greater and more efficient teamwork in all efforts.

As the consummate lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.” Creating an environment that expects greatness from everyone can literally create the greatness you want your company to achieve.

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com

Trending in Employee Benefits

Trending in Employee Benefits

Attracting the best employees is always at the top of any businesses to do list, keeping those employees is usually a very close second. Employers have long known that employee benefits package makes all the difference in attracting top talent. However, there have always been huge disparities over what exactly those packages should include and which employees should be included in the offer.

Required Benefits

  • Social Security
  • Workers Compensation
  • Unemployment Insurance

Expected Benefits

  • Health Insurance
  • Limited Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plan

These benefits are traditionally included in most packages, and employees have come to expect that they are just there. Employees don’t really think about these benefits unless they are presented with a package that does not have these basic employee benefits. When asked, employees offer up a rather surprising wish list of benefits that may actually save an employer large sums per employee.

10 Most Wanted Employee Benefits:

  1. First Place is actually a tie
    • More Flexible Health Insurance, that includes Vision and Dental – Side Note: the most favored options for more flexible health insurance was actually not a traditional insurance plan at all. Instead, many employees would rather have on-site health care than a traditional insurance plan that they must navigate themselves and use precious sick days and vacation time to use.
    • More Flexible Work Hours, including work where you are options
  2. More Paid Vacation Time
  3. More Paid Sick Days, including Mental Health Days
  4. Student Loan/Tuition Assistance
  5. Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave
  6. Free On Site Fitness/Yoga/Gym Memberships
  7. Free On Site Child Care
  8. Free Drinks and Snacks
  9. Company Wide Retreats and Outings
  10. Team Bonding Events

Based on this Employee made list, it is safe to assume that most workers actually want their employer to offer the things that make them happier, healthier, more productive employees and that keeps them engaged with the workplace as much as possible.

That’s great news for an employer that wants the best out of each person they hire. It also offers up what can seem a daunting challenge to employers. Now it is squarely on the employer’s shoulders to discover and offer strong benefit package options that are far outside the traditional and make these benefits work just as hard for the company as they do for employees.

The time has come to step outside the comfortable standard business practices box. Discover, for example, how an on-site clinic lowers company wide health costs and keeps your employees working by immediately addressing small problems before they become major illnesses while keeping the employee away from their job for minutes or hours, instead of days. The possibilities are endless no matter how big or small a company. Which ones will you institute today to ensure the best employees are at each station of your company?

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com

Three Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading

Three Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading

No one really wants to be seen as “the man” when being referenced by their direct reports. Being “the man” symbolizes a position of power that doesn’t relate to the general team. As many companies are starting to move toward a team based approach to management, here are a few examples of how to stop being seen as a boss and start leading.

Provide Honest Feedback

Managers have the responsibility to be honest with their team’s performance. If a direct report is not meeting expectations, it is important to give them that feedback before their end of year evaluation. It is also unfair to continually dangle a promotion if the person is just not a fit for the desired position. An associate will continue to work for promotion once the opportunity is discussed- and will also grow disgruntled when they have completed all of the “items” that held them back from obtaining the sought after position.

A manager will have issues with one or two people being tardy (or frequent call ins or some other common issue in management). Instead of the manager addressing the issue with the tardy individuals, they instead hold a team meeting. The issue of tardiness is brought up and everyone else knows exactly whom the manager is talking to- except for the one or two punctuality offenders. It is always best to just have the conversation with those that are not meeting expectations.

If your team sees that you are honest with them, they will trust you and your intentions. Does your team trust you?

Never Publically Reprimand

It may seem obvious that the quickest way to disengage a team member is to call them out on something in front of others. Then why do so many managers make this mistake? Recently, a Field Director shared about his frustration with his boss, a partial owner of the company. An hourly employee called the owner to discuss new policy changes implemented by the Field Director. Instead of the owner referring her back to the Field Director, he stated, “I am the boss and that’s not going to happen”. The hourly employee, full of glee, went back to her entire team and gloated that she spoke to the owner and no one had to listen to the Field Director (in so many words). Though the owner believed he was addressing the hourly associate with her concerns, he was actually publicly invalidating the Field Directors position.

It is easy to publicly belittle a member of the team through non-verbal’s as well as spoken word. Are you careful with what you both say and don’t say?

Learn The Roles and Start Leading

No one likes it when their boss tells them what to do, but has no idea what they actually do. In order to be a great leader, it is important to know about each role that you supervise. Though it is unrealistic to know every detail about every role in the organization, it is reasonable to take an interest in each person’s work. This is especially important when you, as the manager, have never worked in your particular industry before. Take an interest in the various roles, learn how they all work together, and people will be happy to tell you about what they do and how it contributes to the greater good of the organization.

Before you delegate the next task, ask yourself this question- Do you know what your team members actually do?

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at http://www.tantamhealth.com

I Challenge You to try Hiring Differently

I Challenge You to try Hiring Differently

It’s very comfortable and common for a hiring manager to search for specific skill sets when hiring for a position. Hiring managers are most likely to try to find someone with specific experience in the role and skills needed for the role. For example, in the veterinary field it is common for managers to search for veterinary assistants whom have already held the role elsewhere and already have the technical skill set for the job.

If you are one of these managers, it’s time to step out of the box and be more creative with your choices. I challenge you to choose your next hire based on talent not skill set. What do I mean by this exactly? People can be taught skills and learn new things, of course at different paces, but it is not necessarily a talent to have a learned technical skill.

If you are choosing people based on previous experience in the same role or technical skill set alone, this can back fire easily. Sure, you may think they don’t need as much training because they’ve done the job before, but this is not usually the case. These individuals often already have “their way of doing things”. They’ve learned the skills a certain way, believe that is the best way and are less willing, if not unwilling, to change the way they do things. They need to be re-trained to understand the culture and meet the standards of your company and are often not as engaged in doing so.

This is in stark contrast to someone with talent but little technical skill set. People with ‘talent’ are generally hardworking, driven, and willing and able to quickly learn new things. Many times you find these people either just out of school or coming from a different industry, which leaves them at a disadvantage when it comes to skill level. But, as one of my favorite quotes goes, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few.” They may not be able to immediately perform every function of the role, but you are able to develop them and mold them into exactly what you are looking for. The skills can be taught, but ‘that something’, that drive and excitement for learning and leading cannot be taught.

I can tell you from personal experience that hiring for talent works out in the long run. I once hired a barista to be a veterinary assistant. She had absolutely no veterinary skills or experience, but she had talent. She was (and still is) confident, a born leader, a driven and hard working person that was (and still is) eager to learn new things and be a part of something bigger. She applied and interviewed for a front desk position, but immediately upon interviewing her and seeing her with the team, I knew she would pick up the skill set needed to work in the clinical environment of the hospital and be a leader while doing it. She quickly learned the necessary technical skills, got comfortable with the team and began leading the day to day work of others. She was recently promoted to a hospital lead position, and I have no doubt that she will keep growing.

If you happen to come across someone with both skills and talent, then of course go for it. But if you ever have the choice between skills/experience and talent, always, always, always pick talent! I promise you won’t regret it.

Written By: Jamie Ozga, CPO at Tantam Health, Inc.

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinic, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at http://www.tantamhealth.com

Training – An Expense or an Investment?

Training – An Expense or an Investment?

Imagine, you’ve been searching for months for the “right” job opportunity. You finally find something that seems to fit your wants and needs. The company sounds amazing, it seems they take care of their employees, the hours are great, there’s a comprehensive benefits package, they will provide training and the list goes on. You get an interview, you progress through the hiring process, you are chosen! ….and then you start.

On your first day of the job you think, “They are just throwing me to the wolves!” Your manager appointed someone to train you, but there is no plan, there is no structure, there is little meaningful check-in and follow-up.

Is this a situation your new hires are experiencing? If you don’t have a clear and structured training program, that your hiring managers follow, then the answer is yes.

Putting a training/onboarding process in place doesn’t have to be complicated, but many companies see it as an expense rather than an investment. This is absolutely the wrong way to think about it, and there is research to prove it.

Proper onboarding and training programs can set companies up for:

Higher productivity and profit. “Companies that invest $1,500 in training per employee can see an average of 24% more profit than companies who invest less”. See article here.

Happier workforce. “35% of Millennials consider comprehensive training and development programs as the top benefit they would want from a company.” Read more here.

Lower turnover. “According to Canadian tourism and hospitality HR association Go2HR, around 40% of employees who do not receive adequate training end up leaving their post within a year.” The full article and stat can be seen here.

These onboarding and training programs should include:

  1. The basics of how to do their job – create job specific manuals for each role. Make sure to lay out each day, week, month, etc.
  2. Setting of expectations going forward – let workers know what their expectations are immediately, learn what their expectations are for their direct manager, figure out how each individual learns and receives feedback best, set performance goals with the associate.
  3. Regular check-ins with trainer/hiring manager. Hourly, daily, weekly. Figure out what works for the associate and for your program. The hiring manager should always know where their new hires are in their training process.
  4. Follow up, follow up, follow up, and follow up! How is the employee feeling about training? What do they need? It’s not enough to set them up and let them go. Checking back on progress and adjusting as necessary is just as important.
  5. Continued development and training. Training shouldn’t end with the onboarding process. Employees should receive continued education and development. According to Comptia, “58% of employees (62% of Millennials and GenX) say that professional development contributes to their job satisfaction” (CompTia).

As Simon Sinek once said, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” Keep that in mind if you ever start considering training and employee development an expense rather than an investment. When your people have a clear understanding of what they are doing, feel supported in their role, and appreciated with further development, they will do more for your company than you could have ever imagined.

Written By: Jamie Ozga, CPO at Tantam Health, Inc.

About Tantam Health

Tantam Health specializes in onsite clinics, worksite clinics and nearsite clinics. Their innovative programs, advanced reporting capabilities, and unique structure of their team allows them to deliver customized solutions that exceed their client’s expectations. The company takes a team-based approach to their worksite healthcare delivery model, adhering to patient-centered medical home (PCMH) guidelines set forth by the NCQA. Learn more at www.tantamhealth.com