When running a business, companies are regularly thinking about making investments to increase growth, whether it’s investing in new technology, new equipment, new software, etc. However, one component that employers often fail to invest in, is their personnel.

One might think that hiring an individual is an investment in and of itself, but the investment shouldn’t stop there. Very often we find that an employee is hired because he or she possesses a certain skill set. Once that employee walks through the door, the knowledge base does not expand. This can lead to employee stagnation and company plateaus, which slow down business growth. Companies need to invest in employee development. For example, larger corporations sometimes offer tuition reimbursement programs. But even at a small practice, employee development can pay dividends.

Read below to find out how investing in employee development can help your practice grow.

Commit to Your Employees

Most companies believe that all of their employees should approach their jobs with the same level of commitment and buy-in as the physicians who started the practice. But what you must acknowledge is that your employees have different motivations and goals for their own careers. It is important to remember that when an employer invests in the employee’s education and development it shows that employee that the company is committed to him/her and believes that there is a place for him/her in the company’s future. This will only strengthen the employee’s bond and loyalty to the company and loyal employees drive growth. They also work harder, smarter and with a focused energy that a disenchanted employee will never have.

With the possibility of greater job confidence and employee satisfaction as well as all of the new ideas and initiatives that will come from training, this needs to be the year you invest back into your personnel.

Increase Innovation

Your employees know your business. They are immersed in the office culture and processes, so they likely have a different and useful perspective of how your office is run. Continuously educating your employees will allow them to bring new ideas to the environment and maybe even improve things you didn’t realize needed work. Rather than educating only yourself and then disseminating what you’ve learned, send an employee or bring him/her with you to seminars and lectures. Many employers invest in organizational programs that they personally attend and then report back to the team with their findings. But, it’s only one perspective and always the same perspective. Imagine the possibilities if others were allowed to interpret and brainstorm new initiatives.

Techniques for increasing innovation among staff can take many forms. To start, there are countless websites that offer webinars and courses at a low cost and are even downloadable. Many of these sites also send out e-blasts when their courses are at deep discounts. Other approaches to consider can be more out-of-the-box, such as our Activate!Workshop. This program is designed to help your team develop smart solutions with real action plans through focused activities, which are tailored to meet the individual solution and idea-creating needs of your practice.

Real Life Example

One of our clients was a physician who brought his office manager and a newly hired patient care coordinator to a patient experience seminar. While there, all three individuals learned about proper phone etiquette and many other concepts. Interestingly, the new employee brought back ideas that the seasoned office manager and the physician hadn’t even considered. This new employee was not affected by the long-standing dynamics of the office and, therefore, approached all of the seminar information with a fresh perspective.

This new outlook could only have been provided by someone uninfluenced by office politics and unaffected by the office’s resistance to change. This view was like a breath of fresh air and allowed the physician and manager to see opportunities that they had previously brushed off.

In short, all of your employees have unique backgrounds and experiences. That’s why you hired them. Allow that uniqueness to inspire innovation by keeping everyone educated and engaged!

Bottom Line: Educate!

Employers who do not invest in their employees or who self-educate and dictate change do not have the same employee loyalty and retention. Additionally, the days of working for an employer for your entire career have long since passed. Employers now need to prove opportunities and growth potential for employees within their company, and these opportunities do not have to come at a high price.

For more information about employee development and growing your practice, contact Points Group today.

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This document was last updated on July 24, 2014