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New Years Resolution - Keep Your Providers From Leaving!

In a previous blog, I discussed the importance of looking at your referral numbers for 2013 and getting started on your 2014 projections.  Well … did you start looking at those numbers yet?  Whether you have or not, we have another new year’s resolution for you and that is to make sure your current providers are happy!  This is critical, as one of THEIR new year’s resolutions could be to find a new job.  

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When every new year comes around, people make those resolutions to do XYZ in the coming year … and 2014 won’t be any different.  I have been recruiting healthcare providers for several years now, and I can tell you that January and February are when I receive the most calls.  The majority of them start off along the lines of, “I am starting to look at other opportunities because I need a change.”  But what are some of those needs?  What are they looking to change?  It might seem obvious, but the shortlist is simply:

- More money

- More work/life balance

- More appreciation from employers

- Advancement opportunities

There are other motivating factors, but those are the topics that I hear over and over again.  I’m not saying that the beginning of the year is the only time providers look for jobs, but you get the idea ...  Along with your resolution for projecting referral numbers, let’s add “find ways to make my providers pick another resolution”.  

One of the first things I like to do when coming into a new practice is to create a satisfaction survey for providers to complete anonymously - it’s best to keep it anonymous so the providers give you real responses.  I then look at other provider satisfaction reports, in order to see where the client’s practice is at in comparison.  Obviously, you can’t make all requested changes or solve all provider problems at once, but any effort will be appreciated, particularly if it comes with a verbalized long-term plan.  Be honest with your providers and have a meeting with them to go over all of their top concerns; let them know that you care and are hearing them.  Sit down with your group (and/or with a consulting group) to make a plan regarding which issues you will target.  You might not be able to give them more money but, if you can work on the other items, they might overcome the financial factors.  

I actually have one client who meets with their providers on a monthly basis and gives them a majority-rules vote on important practice-wide matters.  Whatever the team decides is what they go with, and they make that decision together.  I think this is a great idea because it unites the group and shows that the organization cares.  However you do it, devise a plan to keep your providers happy in 2014, because they might be making a new year’s resolution for 2014 themselves … and it could result with their notice on your desk.  And I know you don’t want that!

Happy New Year!

Nick