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

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

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

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

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

5 Steps to Cleansing a Toxic Team

5 Steps to Cleansing a Toxic Team

We have all had that experience… you walk in ready to lead your new team at your new job and realize through the avoidance of eye contact, lack of warm welcomes, and sterile work environment that this isn’t the same team you were sold during your interviews. With no where to run, you get that sinking feeling because there is no manual how to fix this toxic team, you just inherited. Listed below are a few tips that might be a good start:

Be a Listener

Employees want to be heard. They generally have several ideas about how to make their work life better or even increase company efficiency, but will grow silent when those suggestions fall on deaf ears. As a leader (and most likely an operator at heart) your first reaction will be to hear the feedback and then want to tell them why that “will never work” or jump right to “fixing” their issues. STOP!

Just listen and feel their pain for a moment. They might want to tell you about never getting off on time or getting to eat lunch. Then it is up to you to figure out why. Is the schedule too lean? Is the team understaffed? Are there operations opportunities that bottleneck at certain parts of the day? Listening doesn’t mean doing everything requested by you, but you can start to find common themes that frustrate everyone. Through those common themes, you can find ways to overcome those obstacles and make the workplace better for all involved.

Emphasize Training

One of the worst things a company can do is hire bright employees and skimp on their training. The lies we tell ourselves “I’ll train them later” or “they are bright and can catch up later” only cause confusion about your expectations. No matter the employee position, everyone wants to know what is expected of them and they crave the training to meet those expectations. The result of a team with fragmented training is a team with each team member having their own process to accomplish work.

Some of the processes end up cutting corners while others are so meticulously detailed that the process is laborious. Imagine being trained by coworkers with several made up processes- how does a new hire learn from their peer group? Which way is the “right” way? How will they know what YOUR expectations of them are?

Find the Peer Leader

It doesn’t matter the industry, in any department (or group setting) there is always a peer leader. This person doesn’t always have a leadership title, but their peer group has designated them the group’s voice and their opinion matters. If you are trying to change the culture of the group, you have to successfully engage this person. If they remain actively disengaged, you will achieve nothing despite your best efforts.

Before making an operational change in the group- be sure to run your idea past the peer leader to get their buy-in. If the peer leader is resistant to your idea, ask them how they would fix the problem. See if both of you can find a solution together. In this process, you are changing an actively disengaged employee into an actively engaged one. Who doesn’t love their own idea, right? If the two of you cannot learn to work together, then this person may need to be worked out of the group.

Develop Trust

Now that you are listening to your team, making sure they are equipped to meet your expectations through proper training and you have their peer leader working alongside you- the next thing is trust. How do you earn trust? Trust can only be established through transparency. Let your employees know what some of your challenges are, how you are growing as a leader and what your vision for the team is. As you share some of your vulnerabilities, it is only natural that the team may also share some of their issues.

An employee might share something work related, like their coworker Johnny comes in to work hungover and has a drug problem. They share how his work suffers because of his personal life and how it personally affects them to have to redo his work. Sometimes an employee might also mention their own struggles- like their spouse being recently diagnosed with a serious illness. You can use use work related or personal information to show each individual employee that you care. Johnny can be offered support programs through HR and the employee might just need reassurance that they can take time off if needed. Everyone wants to trust that their manager cares about them. Show them that you do.

Use Positive Recognition

Finally, it cost’s nothing to say “thank you” or “great job”. Using positive recognition can influence individuals to act in accordance to consistently exceed your expectations. It is important to note that there are millions of creative ways to positively recognize individuals or groups for their performance, but recognition has to be specific to the individual.

If one of your team members if painfully shy, public recognition may actually be humiliating. A shy person may prefer a private note, a text message or a conversation in your office regarding what they specifically did very well. A more extroverted, social butterfly might believe public recognition is the best kind! The overall message is that praise can be used privately or publicly, but should be used to engage the employee by taking into account how they might best receive that positive feedback.

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