Management is a critical determinant of employee engagement.
In fact, managers have an immensely disproportionate influence over staff engagement levels. According to research by Gallup, they influence at least 70% of employee behaviours.
With that in mind, I’ve come up with two questions every owner of an independent optometry practice with several staff members should ask themselves:
- Who is your manager?
- How are they influencing your staff?
If the answer to the first question is that you don’t have one, I have to tell you that you’re wrong. If you don’t have a dedicated practice manager, that role is held – by default – by you. You are the management representative your employees will be looking to for answers, guidance and mentorship.
Whether it’s you or someone else, a good way to start the New Year is to take stock of how your management affects your employees.
It is well documented that great management can help organizations increase profitability, productivity and, of course, engagement.
But great management often requires experience, resources and skills. A practice owner busy with patients and other business tasks may not have the time to be a great manager. Someone hired for the role may not have all of the skills he or she needs to excel in the position.
Learning how to hire a top-notch manager is one solution. So is investing in your management.
This second solution is crucial for whoever you hire. Management trends change. So does technology. New challenges come up. Training is not only a way to keep your manager on top of his or her game – it also helps you engage and retain that person.
Only about a third of managers strongly agree they have had opportunities at work to learn and grow in the past year. Thirty-six percent of managers do not fully believe they have the skills they need to do their best work.
These findings from Gallup speak volumes, and it’s why making a training investment in a manager may be the most important investment decision you make this year.
- Training can take someone from good to great, or great to exceptional
- At the end of the day, a manager’s success helps your practice
- Their work will positively (or negatively) influence your employees
- Training investments help retain key staff members
- Hiring your first manager can free up optometrists’ time for what they do best
- More available optometrist time creates more opportunities for appointments
If you need one more reason to reflect on your practice management this month: employees told Gallup that the quality of their manager is on the whole more important than their compensation. That should be a powerful and motivating call-to-action for any business owner.
Provided the business case makes sense, one of the best ways you can invest in your practice this year is investing in management. It can help you, your practice, staff morale and engagement, and overall productivity. For these reasons, it’s worth considering.
For more ideas, check out some of my previous posts: