JAN-FEB 2016

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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terms of time and money for small corporations," says Dr. Flint. "Consequently, maintaining a low turnover rate is important. It also provides continuity in the patient experience." Zane Benefi ts, a company that services small businesses, estimates that replacing a salaried employee costs six to nine months' salary. The Society of Human Resource Manage- ment puts the total costs associated with turnover at twice the departing employee's annual salary. Following are several strategies you can adopt to improve employee satisfaction and remind workers how valuable they are to your practice success. Be Flexible Your practice may see patients from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, but if you allow your employees to occasion- ally deviate from that schedule, you'll fi nd they are "happier, more engaged, and more likely to stick around," according to a Harvard Business Review report published in 2014. "As a father myself, I know the diffi culty of child care, and we've tried to be reasonably accommodating to employees' personal schedules," says Dr. Chaboki, who has four employ- ees, including one who has worked with him for 10 years. "For example, if a patient wants an upper blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) in the offi ce on a particular day, but my as- sistant needs to take her child to the pediatrician, then I will reschedule the blepharoplasty to another time." Dr. Kaplan also offers fl exible scheduling for his employees. "If a particular morning is slow, one employee can choose to come in later as long as all responsibilities are covered in the offi ce at all times," he says. Employees are increasingly expecting that kind of fl exibility, and the majority of employers now offer it. According to the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College, more than half (55%) of organizations now allow employees to take time off during the workday to attend to family or personal needs without loss of pay, and more than 80% of companies offer part-time and fl ex-time schedules, or the option of telecom- muting on an ad-hoc basis. Show Appreciation Your best workers will stick around longer if they feel appreciated, recognized and respected. "I really believe that bonuses and high salaries come second to a healthy work environment," says Dr. Delgado, who employs seven staff members in his front offi ce, plus four nurses, two scrub techs and an anesthesiologist in his surgery center. One employee has been with him for 12 years; another retired after 10 years. "Employees want to work for a doctor who is approachable and fair, who manages in a healthy and constructive way. They want to be part of a practice with a good reputation, one that puts patients fi rst. wners of thriving aesthetic practices know that knowledgeable, motivated, long-term employees are key to their success. And it's not just high turnover rates that can damage a practice. Unhappy, dissatis- fi ed team members can also wreak havoc on your bottom line. "If staff members are not happy, it can come through to patients, which is deadly in a cosmetic surgery practice," says Miguel Delgado Jr., MD, a Northern California plastic surgeon with offi ces in San Francisco and Marin County. So if you are lucky enough to have a great team in place, you'll want to do everything you can to hold on to each member. The good news is employee retention and job satisfaction is not all about money—in fact, several studies have shown that cash is actually a poor employee motivator. The most effective employee rewards cost very little, yet go a long way towards attracting and satisfying quality workers. Hire Right As the saying goes, you can't make a silk purse out of sow's ear. So the fi rst step toward retaining top employees is to hire them in the fi rst place. But it's not easy: According to a 2015 national survey by Physicians Practice, staffi ng issues are among the biggest challenges facing physician-practice owners. Respondents cited problems such as a lack of train- ing and skills, low motivation and lack of professionalism. "Looking for new hires on Craigslist was a total bust," says Patti Flint, MD, a plastic surgeon who manages six employ- ees at her offi ces in Scottsdale and Mesa, Arizona. "I won't interview anyone who has a résumé that looks like it was constructed by a rabbit jumping from one job to another." She gets far better results from word-of-mouth referrals. And once she fi nds a promising candidate, she says, "I have my entire staff meet with potential new hires to assess if the new applicant is a good fi t for the team." Some physicians, such as Jonathan Kaplan, MD, a San Francisco-based plastic surgeon, require candidates to take a pre-employment test. "All applicants are directed to the online test—I use—which covers issues like motivation, cognition and problem solving. I only inter- view applicants who score highly." Houtan Chaboki, MD, is less concerned about each candi- date's particular skill set. Instead, he pays special attention to their overall career path to determine if an applicant might be a good fi t for his Washington, D.C.-based facial plastic surgery practice. "I focus on the reasons the candidates chose their various job positions," he says. "Why did they make the career decisions that they made? What accomplishments and setbacks have they had in each position?" Once you identify the right team members to join your staff, you'll want to retain them. "Training is expensive in | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 29

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