are you causing staff turnover

Are You Causing Staff Turnover?

No matter the size of your medical practice, staff turnover can cause problems if there isn’t adequate staff to ensure patient appointment demands are met.  Could some of the turnover be prevented if we took a different approach to managing our practice?


The MGMA Connection, August 2017, focuses on Human Resource Management.  Since most of practices do not have an HR Manager on staff, the HR duties usually default to the Practice Administrator and we should take every opportunity to read and absorb information regarding trends in managing our staff.  The Gallup “State of the American Workplace” report states 51% of U.S. workers are actively looking for a new job.  Do you know who those employees are in your practice?  Every time we lose an employee, there is an effect on the operations of the practice, not to mention the additional cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training the new employee.  The cost is estimated to be between 50% and 150% of the position’s annual salary. 

An online search on this topic found an article titled “7 Traits of Truly Horrible Bosses” by Jack Fehr, which illustrates why staff turnover occurs.  Traits such as the boss’s poor communication, being a bully, micro-managing, and over working employees are easy to fix.  We should do a self-assessment of the traits we would not want from our boss, and then translate those ‘bad’ traits into positives to manage employees.  Another article titled “7 Common (but Fixable) Causes for Employee Turnover” by Justin Reynolds, suggested employees leave because the culture is toxic, no opportunity for advancement, it’s not fun, and they hate their boss.

The Gallup “State of the American Workplace” report states only one-third of employees that responded are engaged, 16% are actively disengaged, and the remaining 51% are not engaged… they’re just there.  Think about your staff… how do these numbers match up to your employee’s engagement at work?


Are we regularly telling our employees they are doing a good job?  Do we make the employee feel they are contributing to the practice’s vision, and they are important?  The Gallup “State of the American Workplace” report states most organizations are not giving their employees a compelling reason to stay, and it should be no surprise why 91% of the survey respondents stated they left their company to do so.  We must make it clear to our employees that we value what they do for our practice, recognize their strengths, and encourage them to stay.

Many practice managers meet regularly with their employees one-on-one to discuss topics such as what is motivating them to stay with the practice.  Ask questions, such as, what can we do to help further develop their skills, especially if there is an opportunity for a leadership role in the future, and how they feel we support them in that effort.  These one-on-one meetings, also called “stay interviews” may help you determine if the employee needs more direction to be more effective.  The frequency of these “stay interviews” will depend on the number of employees; however, the more frequent the meetings, the better results will be seen.

We all compete to have the most talented employees.  Paying the employee a fair rate for their position and offering benefits play a role in an employee’s longevity with the practice.  Many employees are looking for flexibility in their work schedule to balance their life away from work; although meeting that benefit may be difficult to do in a medical practice setting. 

We will always have some staff turnover, and our job as managers is to minimize the chaos caused by employees leaving us for the “greener pasture”.  Understandably, we would like to have all “A” Team players; however, as we have all seen, we have a fair number of “B” Team players and “C” Team players.  Being fair with our staff is important; however, if we do not recognize the contributions of the “A” Team player, how do we expect to maintain them?  We also must understand that the old days of employees staying for their entire career, like baby boomers, are over. 


Perhaps we need to change our management approach from “Boss” to “Coach”.  Just as a coach in sports would do, we must focus on improving the employee’s skills to ensure they are making a better contribution to our practice.  And, if we have “players” that are not contributing to our success, we may decide to cut them from the “team”.  Of course, there is always the possibility that the Team Owner decides to fire the “coach” because of ineffective results.

In summary, times are changing regarding “people” management, and we must make changes in our leadership and management style if we want to avoid high turnover.  We highly recommend that you download the Gallup “State of the American Workplace” report to learn what employees want in today’s work environment.  Concordis Practice Management, LLC would be happy to evaluate your staff’s satisfaction and evaluate their desire to stay with your practice.  Contact us today at 210-704-1014.

MGMA Connection, August 2017, Human Resource Management Edition

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