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HR 101

“We must recognize that each one of our employees comes to us with a unique personality and a backlog of experiences that will influence the way they work.”

My experience at Sam’s Club plays a large role in my choices as a physical therapist. Sam Walton was still alive during my first years working for the company. There were some major rules that we had to follow as employees of Sam’s Club. The first rule is the 10 foot rule. This means that any time that I come within 10 feet of a Sam’s Club member I must make eye contact and acknowledge that person. It seems so simple to just give a hello, but we all know that customer service is lacking in many companies. Customer service is the reason we are doing what we are doing. Without the customer we have no income. In healthcare, we can substitute the word customer with the word patient. Without the patient I have no income. I need to ensure that that patient is well taken care of, and that starts just by acknowledging that the patient is a person. Other things that I learned from Sam’s Club is that hard work is rewarded. I was given many merit raises during my first three years at the store. In 2003 I was the best employee out of the 200 employees. This is not subjective on my part, but I was awarded with the employee of the year award. At that time I knew I had to quit. This is another thing that I learned about myself while working at Sam’s Club. I have a drive to improve and to consistently and constantly get better. Once I have reached the top of a certain position, then it is time for me to try new things and strive to be the best.

“… More than 30,000 physical therapy jobs that will go unfilled in 2016, it is difficult to understand why a practice owner wouldn’t make the effort to appropriately care for their therapist.”

It is easier to take care of the good people that you have working for you than to find a good person In the sea of applicants to a business.

“Daniel Pink, In his wonderful book, Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us, point out that people want to believe they are contributing to something meaningful.”

When I worked for Sam’s Club, we had a core group of people that we would go to bat for. We worked hard in order to make up for any shortcomings of the people that were around us. When everybody is pulling in the same direction, great things can be done. I believe that. At the time I worked at Sam’s Club we were doing great things. I currently work with a group of people at small community-based hospital in which we all have our niches. We are all really good at our specific specialties and it is fun to be a part of this team. We don’t have the newest equipment, but we are all share a passion for patient care. It is demonstrated in both our outcomes and our patient satisfaction. We are playing our part in the changes that are occurring in healthcare, which emphasize patient outcomes and improving overall health status.

“Creating strong company values, and a clear mission statement, are necessary to motivate and engage staff. Period. More than 70% of all employees were disengaged at work. Disengaged employees tend to create drama… And subtly communicate their unhappiness to patients.”

This correlates with the old saying idle time will provide for the devils handiwork. If we have something to do and are passionate about doing that activity, we will provide customer service. We have to be engaged more with our patients than with our cell phones or Facebook.

” Pink suggest that most people are innately motivated by autonomy. Essentially his philosophy is that we should hire good people and let them do their job.”

I love this quote! The problem though is that not all companies hire good people. When you surround yourself with people who are going the extra mile, they push you to go the extra mile. I would much rather play on a team with scrappers, then play on a team with a bunch of superstars. My job is to make my teammate better and their job is to make me better, in the end the patients get better because of the team.

“Too often we repetitively train, and retrain, an employee who is falling short rather than letting them go in order to preserve the overall atmosphere within the clinic. As difficult as it is to terminate an employee, we must put the needs of the whole clinic above the negative behavior of one person.”

This couldn’t be said any more clearer. Politics unfortunately cloud judgment. Legalities cloud judgment. Dave Ramsey has said it many times over if I wouldn’t re-hire that person, then that person should no longer work here.
Excerpts from:

Stamp K. HR 101: The art of managing people. IMPACT. Aug 2016:29-30.

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Categories: Physical therapy, PTs, Written BlogsTags:

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