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Employee Engagement

Posted Oct 03 2008 12:43pm
There is no dismissing the effect of positive feedback on employees both in the performance of a business and happiness of its' workers. Yet, of all the challenges I face in managing a practice, engaging our employees is my single greatest personal challenge. Our office has worked to provide a decent benefit package, cost-of-living increases, yearly reviews and pay raises a pleasant work environment. That is the good part; now the bad.

I recently, dove into a book by Gallup ( The Best of the Gallup Management Journal 2001-2007 ) and read an article called Feedback for Real. Please take the time to read the article (or look at the Q12) before going on.

I consider myself a decent surgeon and a good person, but after reading that article I realize I am a crappy manager. The essence of the article, is that Gallup has proved that employee engagement is not derived by work type, reimbursement or work intensity. Rather, Gallup has found 12 elements that predict employee engagement which in turn predicts turnover, profitability and efficiency in the workplace. Many of the elements relate to management support, setting expectations and feedback.

This is where I fail personally. Although I can be a good organizer, my fuse is too short, my expectations to high and my feedback to focused on change and negativity. Luckily, I do not think I'm alone since I hear a lot of my colleagues say that human resources is the worst part of managing a clinic. Also, life is all about introspection and change; so there's hope for me yet. Each day, supervisors in a clinic need to work to provide clear direction to employees, reinforce the mission of the clinic, find good in the job that each employee is doing and provide positive feedback. It only takes a minute but it can change the work experience for everyone.

The Gallup Q12 seems like a fantastic tool for change in small clinics. It could open discussion and find paths to not only increase efficiency but employee engagement and satisfaction.
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