Are you executing your systems for success?

Are you executing your systems for success?

Have you ever worked for a small business? Have you worked for a large corporation? Have you held roles with both?

If you’ve answered yes to any or all of these questions, then you have most likely been involved in a lack of processes or have been tied down with too many procedures or protocols. Many small businesses suffer from a lack of systems for success that could help their efficiency and savings, while larger corporations sometimes have too many processes, protocols and policies in place that suffocate creativity.

Walking the fine line between not enough and too many systems is important. As somewhat of a process “geek”, I tend to favor having systems for success in place for the majority of business operations. But I will say that I have worked for both small businesses and large corporations, and I have witnessed the troubles that come along with both scenarios.

In smaller businesses, I have held roles in, the problems have been the direct result of lack of systems. At one company, the owner had a different “deal” with everyone. There were little to no policies around HR practices, organizational structure, or job responsibilities. This resulted in staff not knowing what is expected of them or what role their co-workers played in day to day operations.

At another small business, there were no systems in place for on-boarding, training, or backup coverage. This creates employee engagement and turnover issues, compliance concerns, unhappy clients, efficiency problems and ultimately loss of revenue.

Conversely, many larger companies overload staff with policies, but do not follow through with processes and procedures to ensure these policies work. Larger companies also fall into the trap of trying too many new policies at once or not educating staff on the “why” behind policy to help them understand and comply.

A common problem businesses make is not understanding what policies, processes and procedures actually are and how they work together. Policies are generally high level guidelines that initiative processes and procedures. The process is then the major tasks involved in accomplishing the policy, and the procedures are the detailed steps involved in the process.

Effectively planning, implementing and following through on all three steps of a system can result in compliance, higher efficiency, savings, continuous improvement, employee engagement and so much more. If these small businesses put simple Systems for success into use, then they wouldn’t run into any of these issues so easily. Larger companies need to make sure they pull the systems together will all three components in order to be successful.

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

When the Honeymoon is Over

When the Honeymoon is Over

There are two lives that we each have; one is professional and the other is personal. Though we may try to distance the two or set distinctions between each area of our lives- they are more similar than we think. In this, let’s compare finding a new job with finding a spouse.

The Dating Period

This is the period in which you are playing the field. Before you swipe “right” you might think to yourself, do I really want to have a drink or dinner with this person? Similarly, before you “quick apply” to that job, you might ask yourself if you could really see yourself doing that new job. Really, could I do that FOREVER (or the next few years)?

If all goes well on the first date, the reality of this person being in your life becomes a little exciting. All the imperfections are still cute and charming in this stage. Jobs are the same. We accept the initial phone interview and meet in person. We look past those “I can handle that” parts of the new job because the prospect of long-term employment is attractive.

The Engagement

When you think you have found that special someone, the next thing to do is try to make it official with a ring (or some other token of your affections for one another). Similarly, the prospective job makes you an offer. The offer is a new job’s token of affection that they want you to stick around for a while.

The Marriage

This is where you sign your name away on the dotted line- in either scenario. If you are really all in, you might even sign a pre-nup, which is equivalent to a non-compete in the corporate world. The deed is done and you are now in holy partnership.

The Decision to Stay or Leave

This is the final step. Besides death (which you normally don’t have a decision in), there are no more steps along the way.

Just like your marriage at home, the honeymoon period is blissful. Everything is perfect! Both of you discuss who will do what, the smallest tasks are done with a smile and life is amazing. Jobs have that same period. It normally is during your training period. You get to meet your colleagues and you are pretty much the center of attention. Everyone is happy to help with questions and you can’t believe that you got so lucky!

Just like in any relationship, those “charming” imperfections creep back in. Now the relationship is not as new and it might be downright irritating now. Maybe you don’t feel valued or listened to? Maybe this was not what you thought it was going to be. What are you going to do now?

In a marriage or at work, the decision to stay or leave is always yours alone. You might question whether it is right or wrong to stay at different points in your life. This is normal.

If you do decide to start over, whether at home or work, this process will start over again. Some people get stuck in a vicious cycle of starting over again and again. They are always looking for something “better.” If this pattern starts to appear in your life, it might be time to ask yourself if it is actually you. No one or job in this world is without faults.

What are you going to do when the honeymoon has ended?

 

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

The Forgotten Marketing Tool

The Forgotten Marketing Tool

In a recent interview, Phil Knight, creator and CEO of Nike, said: “We’re a marketing company, and the product is our most important marketing tool.”

Do yourself a favor, and read that statement again, really focus on the meaning of it. Nike, a company who fights only Disney for first place in true marketing genius, believes their product is their most important marketing tool. Not their numerous websites, not their famous ads, not their unbelievable ability to maximize social media of any kind.

NIKE, whose name alone could carry them through years of bad designs with little effect on the bottom line, focuses entirely on making sure their shoes and accessories are always up to par, from their cheapest kids sneaker to their most expensive named basketball shoe, before they worry about their marketing campaigns, commercials, Twitter feeds, or Facebook pages.

The products, the shoes, are their most important marketing tool. This idea is still fairly novel in the marketing world, despite the obvious success of companies like Nike.

What is our product? How focused are we on the quality of our product? Whether we are a restaurants, striving to produce unique food, a manufacturer, aiming to produce durable bikes or a service provider, offering a solution in health and wellness, we all have the same goals

  1. Is our product up to par?
  2. Are we Constantly improving your products and services?
  3. Are we bringing innovation and technology?
  4. Is our customer happy and staying with us (or keeps coming back)?
  5. Lastly, Is our product still your best marketing tool?

When running a company that provides a service in healthcare, wellness, where there are more variables than constants, we need to understand what is our ‘Product’. Most service providers sell solutions and a team that will execute these solutions. So, ultimately our team becomes our absolute essential tool for the success of our ‘product’.

As the years pass and the customer stay with us year after year, the fine line between our the product and team starts to disappear and the customer loyalty starts to rely more on the team and less on the product. This is a crucial time for an organization, as now they have developed the ‘secret sauce’ for their success, their ideal team. Now the word of mouth, basic marketing, sales and other traditional efforts will produce 10X more results.

Unfortunately, we have seen companies’ fall right around this stage, one too many times. Reasons?

  1. CEO/C-execs stop listening to the team that brought them to this success point
  2. Members of upper management start forgetting about the values they started the company and build their solutions and start to focus on $$$ signs
  3. The team frustrations start to impact their work and ultimately the cookie crumbles
  4. When all your focus turns to a plan to attract more customers and the product (your team) is completely forgotten, you get into a ‘point of no return’.

Your team is your best marketing tool, take care of your team!

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

Do you hire Employees or Associates?

Do you hire Employees or Associates?

I remember working for a company and moving up the ranks pretty quickly. My input was requested in making hiring decisions not only for our company, but also for the clients we served. How exciting was that?! As I referred to the client’s employees as “associates” I was quickly corrected. They were employees, not associates. I took the feedback and nodded my head with understanding. In reality, I didn’t understand. Are they employees or associates, I couldn’t yet articulate what it was. I also started to question which one I was, which one I wanted to be, and what I would accept.

An employee is generally referred to as someone who provides labor to another person or a company. That’s it. So basically, an employee is an individual contributor that seeks a wage in exchange for labor.

An associate, in contrast to an employee, is a person united with another or others in the business. The key work being ‘unity’. When you are working towards a common goal (to complete business) in a unified group there is equality despite the title of each person in the organization.

The difference between being an employee or associate is really about working individually for a wage or working in unison towards a common purpose.

This revelation got me thinking about turnover rates. Do some company’s struggle year over year with retention because they don’t understand their culture? Are they hiring collaborative individuals and sticking them on an assembly line? Are really focused/introverted people being forced into uncomfortable group projects?

Through a lot of my own soul searching, I discovered that I am an associate. I need purpose and want to work with a team that is all striving toward one common goal. As referenced earlier, not everyone needs collaboration to feel engaged. Some people prefer to be an employee- they prefer to work in peace, within their cubby providing quality work to their manager. There is a need for both employees and associates, but there is also a greater need to hire the right one for your organization.

As an organization, it is important to ask yourself this one question before you make your next hire- do you hire employees or associates?

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

Breaking Down the Barriers in Worksite Clinic

Breaking Down the Barriers in Worksite Clinic

I’ve been in countless worksite clinic meetings, presentations, trade shows and webinars over the years and one of the common themes that discussed is how complicated our healthcare system is. The question almost always comes to us, what is being done to break the communication barrier between all of the healthcare groups that exists?

Within the scope of the worksite clinic industry, we’ve seen a lot of positive traction with more and more vendors adopting a team based approach through the patient centered medical home model. Other support factors such as the influence of technology within the scope of the practices. This has lead to a switch in the industry with the focus now being on the patients. All parties working together as a team to provide much higher quality of care in addition to increased coordination of care across the healthcare spectrum.

Although barriers are coming down through this team based approach, there still is room for improvement as worksite clinic providers. We must avoid putting up our own barriers between the clinics. Implementing a clinic and not properly supporting the clinical staff over a relatively short period of time, significantly reduces the effectiveness if the clinicians are operating on an island by themselves.

The clinic management company must take careful consideration to all aspects of their practice to prevent these barriers from going up. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • Hiring a Strong Team
  • Create a Culture of Collaboration & Engagement
  • Supply Initial & On-Going Training
  • Provide Resources for Support
  • Back Office Support Resources (Account Manager, Case Management, Data Analytics Team, Etc.)
  • Encourage the Clinical Staff to Have a Voice
  • Financial Incentives – Clinical Team

Preventing these barriers from going up will lead to amongst others a high quality, efficient, effective and ever evolving worksite clinic.

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

Does Culture Run Through Your Business?

Does Culture Run Through Your Business?

Have you ever heard of “A River Runs Through It”? It is a novel about two brothers that then became a movie. It was one of my Grandmother’s favorite movies, probably because it starred Brad Pitt, but that’s a story for another day. It’s also probably why I always think of it and oddly relate it to business and specifically business culture.

A river running through “it”; that could mean so many different things. When a business is “it”, the river is the culture. The culture of a business has the ability to, much like a river, be divisive or be connected.

A river often runs through towns, which divides those towns into two sides. This can easily happen to your business if the culture is divisive. I’ve seen this in multiple companies, especially where the corporate offices and operations team run from a separate location than the service teams. The corporate office is meant to be a support for those service teams, but with a lack of cultural leadership this easily becomes an “Us vs. Them” mentality.

So how do you prevent that from happening? It begins with the leadership team and should really begin with the formation of the company, but it’s never too late. The culture of a company should be embedded into every aspect of what that company does and every person that is part of the team. The metaphorical, cultural river should run through the team and bring a common cause and togetherness to the way the company operates. Have you seen those shirts, “I Bleed Blue” (or red or maroon or whatever your favorite team’s color is)? Your whole team should FEEL the spirit and “bleed” your business. Your company’s culture should quench your employees’ thirst for direction and feed them food for thought.

It sounds obvious, right? But according to an article published by PeopleSpark, “64% of all employees do not feel they have a strong work culture” and “turnover at companies with a poor culture is 48%” (PeopleSpark on LinkedIn). With a connection like that, it’s certainly a topic to take notice of and more importantly take action. So here are 4 ways to make sure your culture is strong and your river unites.

  1. Don’t just create the culture, LIVE the culture. As they say, lead by example. If you create a culture you don’t believe in and don’t speak and do business by EVERY day, then why would your employees even bother?
  2. Engage your employees by asking for feedback and making real changes based on the feedback. Annual Gallup surveys have also shown staggeringly high percentages of employees who are not engaged. In February 2017, Gallup’s State of the American Workplace was released and showed that, “70% of U.S. Workers are not engaged at work” (Gallup.com). Keep a pulse on the engagement of employees at all levels and take action where necessary.
  3. Hire people that fit the culture and coach those people to do the same. The wrong hire and/or an actively disengaged employee can completely dismantle the culture of your business.
  4. Consider a flatter organizational hierarchy and step away from the top-down mentality. There are many different approaches to organizational structure and finding what will work best for your company is the key. According to an article, The 5 Types of Organizational Structure, by Jacob Morgan for Forbes, “A ’flatter’ structure seeks to open up the lines of communication and collaboration, while removing layers within the organization” (check out the article at Forbes.com).

These steps are just the beginning and your culture should be unique to your business. Whether it be diversity, collaboration, commitment, something else or all of the above, be certain it’s known and lived by. Culture can be defined as to “maintain in conditions suitable for growth”. Make sure your culture does just that for your business.

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