Drive the Highest Levels of Growth Through Employee Engagement

Your brand is who you are. It’s how your community, patients, current and prospective employees, and competitors perceive you. It’s reflected by the team that you’ve assembled, for better or worse. And, it is intentional (i.e. it does not occur by accident)—you create it, you develop it, you maintain it, you own it.

Now think about your own brand—is it the brand that you want? If not, the best way to change it is through hiring and employee development. The takeaway is to hire the right people, pay attention to attitude, attributes, and traits, and create paths of development for your team. If you do these things, then you will drive employee engagement.

And only with a highly engaged team can you drive the growth that your organization needs.

But how do you deal with the team you have today? How can you make sure that you have the right people in the right seats? And if you do, then how do you keep them engaged?

In this post, we’ll review the three levels of employee engagement, how to identify where each employee resides, and how to manage them successfully to drive the highest levels of growth.

The first step is to identify and understand the levels of employee engagement:

Level 1: Engaged
Engaged employees distinguish themselves with a “whatever it takes” mindset. They most likely can and will do anything within the scope of the work environment. They are with your organization more out of love than money—love for you, the position, co-workers, customers and, most of all, for the organization’s vision and purpose. They are not difficult to identify as they will seek opportunities to mentor, look for challenging tasks and additional responsibilities, and exhibit the traits that you usually see in leaders. You need to hold onto these people. They will attract like-minded employees to your organization, become evangelists for your mission, and sometimes even help to motivate unengaged employees. You want a culture that shows them appreciation, challenges them, and provides opportunities for them to mentor. In other words, you want to create a path to organizational leadership for truly engaged employees.
Level 2: Unengaged

Unengaged employees are with you for the money. They may not be invested in the job or the organization but usually can and will do the work. Their skills and abilities are not called into question, but their motivation and commitment may be. You will get just enough out of unengaged employees and they will stay with you unless/until someone offers them more money. The best course of action with these employees is to engage with them more and try to figure out what motivates them. Look for a connection point or hot button and capitalize on it. They can be moved in the right direction and become engaged (and you can never have too many engaged employees!), but it takes a lot of effort.

Level 3: Actively Disengaged
Actively disengaged employees either can do the job but won’t or can’t do the job and don’t care enough to learn how. These are employees who will pollute your culture. They will help bring an unengaged employee down to their level and give reason for an engaged employee to leave. They can be identified by an air of entitlement, contributions to office gossip, and an unwillingness to learn. They thrive on drama and may say things like, “It’s not my job.” The best thing to do with employees like this is to manage them out by applying progressive discipline, including regular one-on-one discussions about their behavior and job performance. Set clear expectations and make sure that they understand changes need to be made and that they will be held accountable for making them.
In conclusion, the best people will come to work for you—and stay with you—because of an engaged culture. When hiring, look for these key traits: Emotional Intelligence (EQ), empathy, positivity, work ethic, coachability, passion, humility, and vulnerability. When managing, take the time to interact with and really get to know the people you’re leading. Also, practice sound performance management (set expectations, model behavior, observe and evaluate, provide feedback, and coach). Be consistent but recognize that performance management is not always a “one size fits all” process.

And remember: YOU control your culture and brand.

Our experienced recruiters can help you assemble a highly-engaged and high-performing team. Talk to your Account Manager today about taking advantage of our industry-leading, full lifecycle recruiting services or email the Recruiting Department at recruitingservices@consultyhn.com.

About the Author

Ernie Paolini is responsible for Human Resources and Recruiting Services at Consult YHN. He has more than 20 years of experience in building and managing technology-driven HR and recruitment organizations. His areas of expertise include behavioral interviewing, employee relations, compliance, and onboarding.

Final Rule on Overtime: Everything You Need to Know for 2020

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor published its long-awaited Final Rule to the “white collar” overtime exemptions which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rule determines whether employees are eligible or exempt for overtime pay.

To be exempt from overtime under the FLSA, employees must be paid a salary of at least the threshold amount and meet certain tests regarding their job duties. If they are paid less or do not meet those tests, they must be paid one-and-a-half times their regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.

The new rule will raise the salary threshold from $455 a week ($23,660 annualized) to $684 a week ($35,568 annualized). It will also allow employers to pay up to 10 percent of that minimum level ($3,556.80) in commissions, bonuses, and other non-discretionary incentives.

Such bonuses include nondiscretionary incentive bonuses tied to productivity or profitability. For employers to credit nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) toward a portion of the standard salary level test, such payments must be paid on an annual or more frequent basis.

For example, instead of guaranteeing a salary of $684 per week, an employer could pay $615.60 per week and provide incentive pay, bonus, or commission equal to $3556.80 (10 percent of $35,568) at the end of the year to reach to the salary threshold.

Exempt vs. Nonexempt

Exempt Employees: Employers must pay a salary rather than an hourly wage for a position in order for it to be exempt. Exempt positions are excluded from minimum wage, overtime regulations, and other rights and protections afforded nonexempt workers. Typically, only executive, supervisory, professional or outside sales positions are exempt positions.

Nonexempt Employees: Employees who fall within this category are not exempt from FLSA requirements. They must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for each hour worked and given overtime pay of not less than one-and-a-half times their hourly rate for any hours worked beyond 40 hours each week.

The new rule is expected to prompt employers to reclassify more than a million currently exempt workers to nonexempt status and raise pay for others above the new threshold. 

Meeting the salary threshold doesn’t automatically make an employee exempt from overtime pay—the employee’s job duties also must primarily involve executive, administrative or professional duties as defined by the regulations.

And while the new rule has raised the salary threshold, there were no changes to the current duties test.

White Collar Exemptions

Each of the three white-collar exemptions has slightly different criteria which it’s important that employers review:

Executive Exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be managing the enterprise or a department or subdivision of the enterprise. The employee must customarily and regularly direct the work of at least two employees and have the authority to hire or fire workers (or the employee’s suggestions and recommendations as to hiring, firing or changing the status of other employees must be given particular weight).

Administrative Exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be performing office or nonmanual work that is directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers. The employee’s primary duty also must include the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption: The employee’s primary duty must be to perform work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning that is customarily acquired by prolonged, specialized, intellectual instruction and study.

Next Steps

Practices with exempt employees who currently earn more than $455 per week, but less than $684 per week, and who satisfy the duties requirements, will need to either increase the employee’s salary to the new level or re-classify the employee as non-exempt.

It is important for practices to consider how the new rule interacts with state laws. The general rule in employment law is that businesses must comply with the law that provides the most protection for the employee.

So, for example, in states that have their own exemption tests—such as California—the employer must satisfy whichever salary threshold is greater, whether it’s the federal or state rate.

Additionally, some states may have different duties tests as well as salary cutoffs, and it is important to understand and comply with the more stringent of the applicable rules.

You can read a list of FAQs regarding the Final Rule here.

For additional questions or assistance, please contact Consult YHN’s Human Resources Manager, Jodi Bryan, at 800-984-3272 ext. 305 or jbryan@consultyhn.com or Director of Recruiting, Ernie Paolini, at 800-984-3272 ext. 327 or epaolini@consultyhn.com.

About the Author

Jodi Bryan is the Human Resource Manager at Consult YHN. Prior to joining the organization in 2013, she held HR positions with progressive responsibilities in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and banking industries. Jodi has been certified as a Professional in Human Resources since 2000.

The Most Important Interview Question Isn’t What You Think

Every savvy interviewer will ask an iteration of: “Why should I hire you?”

It’s a good question that can elicit great insights into a candidate’s self-worth, awareness, and understanding of the position. So, keep asking it!

However, very few interviewers would be able to come up with a compelling answer if a candidate asked, “Why should I come to work here?”

That’s also a good question. And even if it’s not asked specifically by a candidate, you can be sure that he or she is thinking about it. Hopefully, you’re providing implied answers throughout the interview. Now more than ever, employers need to be able to address this question head-on.

While the employment pool was once filled with candidates who were eager to please and grateful for opportunities to compete for “good jobs,” times have changed. Unemployment is at a historic low. There are more job openings than there are job seekers. The most skilled candidates will be very selective about where they choose to work. Small businesses face even greater hiring challenges because they’re competing with large corporations that offer high salaries, robust benefits, and attractive perks.

A great approach to your business (and your life, for that matter) is to simply do your best to control everything that you can. Here are three things that you can control when it comes to staffing and team building, along with three possible answers to that all-important question: “Why should I come to work here.”

 

“We offer a competitive salary as well as excellent benefits and perks.”

Let’s face facts: job seekers are going to go wherever they can get the most money (I know, I know, “Thanks, Captain Obvious!”). It’s crucial to establish salary guidelines that are in line with the prevailing industry and geographic standards. This is one area where you shouldn’t be looking to cut costs. Benefits and perks should also be part of your compensation equation (they certainly show up as line item costs on a P&L statement).

Now that we’ve addressed the obvious, you’ll be happy to know that there are other ways to be competitive in attracting talent.

“We’ll help you build skills that will last a lifetime.”

Many employers look to find people that can “hit the ground running.” In doing so, they sometimes confuse skills and experience with attributes and traits. They look for candidates who have acquired job skills through experience and professional development opportunities provided by previous employers. Your competitor assumed all the costs and did all the heavy lifting to develop this employee—what’s not to love?

Well, you may end up paying top dollar for talent like this and you may end up with an employee who isn’t challenged by the position.

So what if, instead of focusing on their skills, you also factored in the attributes that you want in an employee? Wouldn’t you be willing to teach, mentor, coach, and develop someone who had an impeccable work ethic?

You could end up with an employee who is challenged every day to learn; The kind of employee who is grateful for the opportunity and is engaged in his or her job and with the business; An employee who could contribute character and positivity to the kind of culture you want to build and maintain; Someone who would be an evangelist for your organization and help you attract future like-minded employees.

Bonus: they’ll cost you less than the employee who has the skills and experience to “hit the ground running.”

“We have a really great team of people here and we pride ourselves on having a culture of growth.”

You might be thinking, “But what if I spend all this time and money to develop this employee then they leave.” Well, know that while people may ultimately come to work for you because of the money, they will stay, or leave, because of your culture. 

Creating a culture of growth and development is a great way to demonstrate your organization’s value to candidates. When you offer opportunities to learn and grow and can speak to the policies and procedures that you have in place to encourage growth, you’ll be in a great position to attract top talent. As you evaluate or create your ideal culture, keep in mind that you want a work environment that is defined by respectfulness, transparency, and fairness.

In this competitive job market, the costs of making wrong hiring decisions, or hesitation in the face of potential growth is staggering. Identifying, vetting, attracting (and being attractive to) the best candidates has never been more important or more difficult.

Fortunately, Consult YHN’s experienced recruiters are here to help. Not only can we keep your practice running at capacity, but we can also help you build the ultimate dream team. Talk to your Account Manager or contact the Recruiting Department at RecruitingServices@ConsultYHN.com.

About the Author

Ernie Paolini is responsible for Human Resources and Recruiting Services at Consult YHN. He has more than 20 years of experience in building and managing technology-driven HR and recruitment organizations. His areas of expertise include behavioral interviewing, employee relations, compliance, and onboarding.

5 Tips for Onboarding New Employees

Building a high-functioning, patient-friendly, and revenue-generating business begins with building a great team. And, as important as it is to recruit the best and brightest for positions in your practice, that’s only part of the process.

All of the hard work and time spent finding the perfect candidate could be wasted if you don’t put the same amount of time and effort into properly onboarding and training them.

In fact, your onboarding process can be one of the most critical factors in ensuring recently hired talent become happy and productive workers. Research has shown that 50 percent of all hourly workers leave new jobs in the first four months while 50 percent of senior-level new hires fail within 18 months.

How employers handle the first few days and months in a new employee’s experience is crucial to ensuring high retention.

So here are a few ways that you can help new hires be successful from the start

  • 1. Make sure they have all the tools and programs they need.

    Having new hires arrive to an empty or nonexistent work station is a terrible first impression to make. Set up their computer, email, and phone ahead of time, and stock their desk with the essential office supplies. In addition, make sure new employees have access to any programs, software, or electronic files necessary for them to hit the ground running.

  •  
  • 2. Develop a plan and daily schedule for, at least, their first week.

    This will help the training process go smoother for everyone. In that schedule, be sure to pencil in a one-on-one meeting before or at the end of the week. Not only does this make new employees feel valued, but it gives you, as the owner, a sense of how they felt about their first week on the job. Providing realistic and clear expectations from the start keeps the line of communication open and gives the employee a better understanding of what’s expected of them. They really need that “approachability factor” to be a positive one.

  •  
  • 3. Give them a warm welcome.

    If they haven’t had a tour of the office already, now is the time to do so. Make sure they’ve been properly introduced to everyone in the office—a few quick minutes can go a long way in easing their nerves and helping them get a better feel for the company culture and workflow. Scheduling an office meeting and/or lunch their first week is another good idea. Some companies will even greet new colleagues by leaving a plant or small gift on their desk.

  •  
  • 4. Have them shadow a seasoned employee.

    This person should be someone who can show them, step by step, the daily tasks they will be responsible for and be able to exercise a great deal of patience (newbies are bound to ask a lot of questions and make at least a few mistakes). Documented SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) will help the trainer. Otherwise, encourage the new hires to take notes along the way. After a day or so of shadowing, have them switch places and the new employee start the work.

  •  
  • 5. Continue to foster their development.

    Training shouldn’t end after an employee’s first week, especially not if you’re hoping to have them eventually take on greater responsibilities. Remember: the more productive the employee, the more profitable the business. And, the happier a staff member is, the more inclined she’ll be to refer her friends and family members to the practice as patients, or even for new positions as they become available.

Documented procedures, equipment, training, introduction to staff, and on-going support will help to ensure that a new employees are able to thrive in their new role.

If you don’t already have a formal onboarding process in place, let our experienced recruiters help.
Along with your Account Manager and the Consult YHN Training Department, we form a team that will provide on-going support and training for every member of your staff so that you can build the best and most successful team for your business.

 

Source: Onboarding New Employees: Maximizing Success

About the Author

Dawn Bauer is a Senior Recruiter who has been with Consult YHN for 15 years. Previously, she spent 15 years working in banking and accounting, including 2 years in Consult YHN’s billing department. When she’s not at work, you can find Dawn either on the beach, in a shoe store, or at a concert.

Three Ways to Attract Top Talent

The US unemployment rate recently hit a 48-year low of 3.7 percent.

What does this mean for your practice when it comes to recruiting candidates? It means that qualified candidates have more employment options than ever.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to set yourself apart from the practice down the road or any other employer the candidate may be considering, and it doesn’t involve rolling out a red carpet before every interview:

1. Preparation

From the moment candidates walk through the door, they should feel welcomed and comfortable in your practice. Make sure your front office staff is aware of the interview and gets the candidate settled, including if they want water or coffee and/or a quick office tour. All interviewers should have read the candidate’s resume ahead of time so that they’re not reading it during the interview for the first time. This shows the candidate that you are serious about their candidacy and also allows you time to write down questions specific to their background. You may also want to allow a 10-15 minute buffer in your schedule before the interview for any last minute accommodations and to make sure that you’re not rushing into it or arriving late.

2. Extending an offer

You just had a great interview with a candidate and want to extend an offer. You should strive to make that offer within 24-48 hours of the interview, if not sooner. My mantra: time is a deal killer when it comes to recruiting. Any delay in extending an offer may result in the candidate finding an opportunity elsewhere. What if it’s the first candidate that you interviewed? Don’t get caught in the mindset that you need to see more candidates! If your first candidate has the right skill set and will fit into your office culture, why would you need to see more? As for the details of the offer, besides salary, what are some perks that will distinguish you from another employer? Can you offer health insurance/monthly healthcare allowance? A generous vacation package? Bonuses? Spontaneous awards? Think outside the box to win over that candidate.

3. Branding

Every interview experience is a branding exercise for your practice. The candidate is evaluating you as much as you’re evaluating them. An employment decision for anyone has many implications for their professional and personal lives. Even if you don’t choose to hire a candidate, you want them to walk away with a good impression of your practice. They will tell their family and friends (i.e. potential patients) about the positive experience they had with your practice and in turn, will convey to them if they had a negative interviewing experience. Before I came to work for Consult YHN, I interviewed at a local college to work on their co-op program. At the end, the interviewer handed me a coffee mug with the name of the college on it which left me with a great impression of the school and the interviewer. Think about what you can do at the end of the interview to give that good last impression to the candidate.

Implement these suggestions to be any candidate’s number one choice, even in this increasingly competitive employment market!

Or, even better, let Consult YHN help.

Not only can our recruiters fill open positions in any functional area of your practice, but they’ll assist with the entire hiring process, start to finish.

Talk to your AM or give us a call at 800-984-3272, ext. 228 for more information.

About the Author

Ira Disman joined Consult YHN in 2011 as the recruiter for home office and field sales positions. He started his career as an agency recruiter in the insurance industry and then worked as a Corporate Recruiter for the PWC Consulting practice and the software company Synygy/Optymyze. Ira holds a bachelor’s degree from Babson College and an MBA (Human Resources) from Drexel University. When not working, he enjoys getting his money’s worth on the golf course by hitting many, many shots during a round.