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

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

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

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

Are Your Clients Stuck With You?

Are Your Clients Stuck With You?

We all know sales & marketing bring new business, but service providers face slightly different challenges. When you are selling services, there are no physical products or even a prototype to show. Although, clients do their due diligence in selecting a service provider and most seek professional help from consultants, there still lies a big risk of ‘will this vendor perform to the standard in which they sold to us?’

This ‘fear’ makes the sales cycle harder and longer, but like every other company who wants to succeed, everyone places their best foot forward and tries to win the business.

A normal sales cycle for a service provider may include the following steps:

  1. Prospecting a lead,
  2. Finding the right lead,
  3. Nurturing that lead,
  4. Connecting with the lead,
  5. Introduction & Initial presentation,
  6. Request for a proposal (depending on the complexity of the industry, this can take days to weeks),
  7. Revisions of the proposal,
  8. Presentation and implementation offerings,
  9. Negotiations and Approval,
  10. Closing the deal.

An incredible amount of work went into winning this business, but what now? Well, for a service provider, the real work starts now. You have to deliver the level of customer service, technology, communication, engagement, utilization and ROI that you promised during the sales and presentation process.

From the client’s perspective, they have trusted you with their investment of time and money. They believe that their lives will be much easier since you are on-board and offering your service, but they become ‘stuck’ when you start to do the following:

  1. Not delivering what you promised,
  2. Not delivering on time,
  3. Not thinking through what is needed before it is needed,
  4. Start losing the people in your team,
  5. Lastly, and the worst of all, start blaming the clients for your weaknesses.

The client brought you on expecting the results that you overpromised and under delivered and are subsequently stuck. Your poor performance directly impacts their image in the industry, their image for their executives, board members and peers.

There are 3 ways to ensure your clients never feel “stuck”:

Don’t promise clients what you know you can’t deliver

If you believe in your services, skills and talent and you can deliver what will make you proud and your clients super happy, there are enough clients looking for just that. Listen to your clients and know what they are looking for before you say ‘yes’ to everything.

Do the damn work

Winning business is half the battle. Delivering the service and continuously offering the best quality service becomes instrumental in winning more new business. Your new business may bring contract renewals and a reference for future business opportunities. Take care of your clients’ needs and it will come back to you in multiples.

Take care of your team

When in the service industry, 99% of the time you are selling your team’s talents, their ability to perform, their commitment to deliver and their dedication to YOUR clients. In other words, your team is your product. Take care of the 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

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

Calculate Onsite Clinic Cost & ROI

Calculate Onsite Clinic Cost & ROI

Complete this form and receive Tantam Health’s projected cost & ROI structure for your onsite, near-site and 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

My First Hire Almost Killed My Team

My First Hire Almost Killed My Team

I was a new manager at a relatively busy hospital. Fresh out of training at another site, I had not spent much time with my team yet. My only direction out of training was to hire, and hire quickly. I found a seemingly qualified applicant named Dennis. He had years of experience in the industry and had stayed several years at a couple locations. Dennis interviewed well and even showed up on time in a three piece suit. He answered all questions, an offer was sent off and an acceptance was quickly received.

I could not shake the feeling that he wasn’t quite “right” but I had no basis to believe that was true- until he called off on his first day. There was a family emergency. The team rolled their eyes and I explained that sometimes things happen at the worst times and asked them to think positive. During his first few weeks, Dennis showed up late for work in bleach stained scrubs, his movements were slow, his attitude towards training was mediocre at best and he always had some life event that was more important than him showing up for his team.

I watched my ambitious and efficient top performers becoming increasingly silent as they carried his weight. The other team members used the name “Dennis” as a joke. Through the silence of the team, there were consequences: breaks started to last longer, tardiness started to surface. I sat Dennis down and explained where his performance was falling short and the effect it was having on the team. Yes, he was part of a TEAM, not an individual contributor. He accused me of not being sensitive to him being a young step-father and for not having compassion for his situation (though I had privately given him transportation money from my own pocket and the job he didn’t seem to want). We parted ways.

There are a couple things that I learned:

Find what is missing in your team

It is important to know what stage your team is in before placing an ad. Have they all worked together for years and the thought of training someone with little industry experience might excite them? Are you so understaffed that someone with little experience might further burden them? Is your whole team introverted and cliquey? How might an extroverted social butterfly fit into the mix? It is important to think about what is missing in the team to further engage the existing team. How does this new hire compliment the strengths or challenge the team toward positive growth?

Think about what was really said

The “not quite right” feeling that I felt when I reflected on Dennis was intuition. I realized later I listened to everything that he said, but ignored how he said it. I heard the tone change, the quiet hesitation in the responses and I saw the change in body language or eye contact but my decision was made on the words he said. He chose the correct answers and said everything that I needed to hear. I have since hired many applicants after Dennis and have really learned to listen to everything except the words coming out of an applicants mouth. When I look into their eyes, do I trust them? When I watch their hands, are they nervously excited or lying? Trust your gut.

Make the cut

If you did everything right and were just fooled (which happens to the best of us), do not be afraid to get rid of the problem. After you are sure that you have exhausted all coaching and support opportunities, do not waste another moment on this hire. Your other hires need you and you are only one person. Your team will grow weary of supporting under performers and they will lose confidence in your leadership, authority and trust that you have everyone’s best interest at heart. Cut out the tumor and watch your team grow.

Written by: Kristina Dillard – COO at Tantam Health

About Tantham Health:

Tantam Health specializes in onsite health, 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