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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Tantam Health

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

Trending in Employee Benefits

Trending in Employee Benefits

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

Required Benefits

  • Social Security
  • Workers Compensation
  • Unemployment Insurance

Expected Benefits

  • Health Insurance
  • Limited Life Insurance
  • Retirement Plan

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

10 Most Wanted Employee Benefits:

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

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

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

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

About Tantam Health

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

Three Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading

Three Ways to Stop Managing and Start Leading

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

Provide Honest Feedback

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

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

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

Never Publically Reprimand

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

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

Learn The Roles and Start Leading

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

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

About Tantam Health

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

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

I didn’t mean to offend, but I was

I didn’t mean to offend, but I was

When I was a teenager, I had a pretty tight knit circle of friends. They would probably describe me as bold, self-assured, and confident with a dash of defiant thrown into that mix. We were good teens (for the most part) and I was their leader. No, there wasn’t an election that took place- its just how it was. Seeing that I felt a sense of responsibility to the group, I saw my role as their protector. Of all the friends, Aminah was my favorite.

Felipe, another group member, once pointed out that Aminah was also very strong- but in a completely different way. The group became intrigued by this notion. Different, how? He started “Aminah is strong. She could kill you with her fists.” Silence became agreement. “But Kristina, she could kill you with her tongue.” Giggles scattered across the group. Apparently, this was common knowledge that everyone knew, except me.

I was really bothered. How could this group that I loved so dearly find me verbally ruthless? That was never my intention. I wanted to protect them from hurt but I was the hurt. It took me a couple years to understand what the word “tact” meant. The moment I understood the definition of tact, (basically the ability to be sensitive when delivering difficult conversations) I was taken right back to that conversation with my friends.

Though my intention was to always be truthful and honest, there was a way to still deliver that message with the recipient’s feelings in mind. I spent years learning how to deliver my message while still validating the other person’s opinion, feelings or point of view. It was not an easy journey! I learned that though my intentions were not to hurt anyone, hurt was still the result.

Fast forwarding into adulthood, it is difficult to watch managers that have not learned how to deliver a message with tact. In management, it is important to develop trust with your team. If your intentions are good but your feedback conversations leave the associate hurt- they may not even receive the intended message.

A few tips to delivering a more effective message are:

  1. Don’t say a word if you are feeling emotional- you have not thought through your words or how your words might make someone feel. Take a walk, call your friend, vent on paper, cry in the bathroom- anything but address what is upsetting you in that moment. Sometimes things that are not even work-related just boil over into our professional life. Take a moment to really figure out why you are upset and how you can approach the conversation.
  2. Everyone is entitled to a different opinion- the thing that makes this world so amazing is that everyone is different. Maybe a colleague has a different way of wanting to work on a project and you don’t think their method would work. How can both of you still value the differing opinions of one another and still accomplish the task?
  3. Agree to Disagree- When both parties have said all they have needed to say, there is no trophy for the one person who convinces the other. You can say, “I respect that you think my idea will not work but I think I am still going to try.”
  4. Enjoy the partnership- If you say things how they are, you can easily turn colleagues or direct reports off from wanting to share ideas or opinions that differ from yours. Listening to points of views that are different causes you to challenge some of your own reasoning. Additionally, you might find yourself more open to learning and you just might find a more efficient way of completing tasks.

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

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