Welcome to question of the day #268

Eyetools question of the day #268 

You have given advice on how to reduce staff turnover by good interviewing, staff development, and feedback. Is there anything else I can do?

Yes, here are my suggestions for salary, career path, and exit interviews in order to reduce your staff turnover

The amount an employee expects as payment, the amount they deserve, and what you can afford in terms of pay and benefits should all be aligned. Each employee is unique, so you need to be flexible when it comes to work schedules and bonus pay. These should not be set in stone, but reviewed annually and if necessary changed. Make sure, that if people who are doing the same work are paid differently, the person who is being paid less understands why the other person is being paid more. It may be because of more experience or having worked longer at the practice and received more yearly increments. If people feel that they are being unfairly paid less than someone else in the practice they will hold it against you and work less efficiently or leave.

Most people want a career path. An overall practice goal is important, but it is also important to set individual goals. The path for each person should be interesting enough to keep them motivated. An employee who feels like they are moving forward within a practice is less likely to leave. This may involve aspiring to a more senior position perhaps with some management responsibilities or taking on a more challenging role. For example, an admin person may become a clinical assistant, then a dispensing assistant, then a dispensing optician, and then an optometrist. They may want to go into a partnership with you. It is important to remember however that not every employee wants to progress and they are happy to remain in their current role. There may also be natural ceilings that prevent progression. People may need to leave the practice in order to progress.

Encourage your staff to be open about what the competition is offering. Open communication allows you to see how you compare with competitors and creates trust between you and your staff. Once you learn what the competition is doing you can make the necessary adjustments to keep your staff, if you choose to.

Conduct exit interviews with your leaving staff. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of your practice as they perceive them. Do this in a friendly way, perhaps over a coffee away from the practice on neutral ground. Employees are likely to feel comfortable speaking freely about their reasons for leaving your practice. This can help you work out what to do to prevent other staff from leaving.