SHERMAN OAKS, CA – I often ask myself why is it that mediocrity and workload imbalance persists in the workplace? I firmly believe it has much to do with leadership. Where staff is not held accountable, there is no real performance expectation. In other words, how is staff motivated to perform when they do not know what is expected of them?
While some staff is intrinsically motivated to perform regardless of a measurable goal, for most employees this is unnatural. However, if a leader models behavior that elicits drive, motivation, and initiative, like-minded individuals typically emulate that behavior. All said, it is imperative that goals be set, even if they are minimal and simple. In fact, the simpler the goal, the better.
For example, set a goal to increase up front cash collections (copays up front) by 50% in month one for an ultimate goal of 80% increase by the end of month 3. Teach and train how to accomplish this and role-play techniques. Provide the necessary tools for customer service and delivery techs to ask for the money and you should see an improvement, especially when you haven’t collected cash in the past.
You will likely achieve better results asking new patients to pay up front but recognize that as supply patients need replenishments, they should have to clear outstanding balances before dispensing additional supplies.
Once the goal is measured and results are in, they must be communicated to staff. If and when staff achieves the goal, recognition is everything, often more than monetary reward. Employees want to feel valued and appreciated. This in turn motivates them for the next goal.
As I always say, success breeds success. Presented well and communicated honestly by higher ups, employees will strive to do their best and improve performance and productivity if their bosses demonstrate leadership behavior. After all, we all remember our best teacher and our role model. What is about them that made us hold them in such high esteem? Can you do the same for someone else?
Miriam Lieber is the owner of California-based Lieber Consulting Associates. She is a frequent Medtrade presenter, and will be leading an educational session this year at Medtrade, scheduled for Oct 20-23, 2014, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.