Creative, low-cost ways to keep employees happy

I'm always intrigued by what FiercePracticeManagement articles resonate the most strongly with readers. A recent example of an article that garnered interest was a study revealing the extent to which front-desk employees must confront patients' emotions.

Readers had a particularly deep interest in the New York Times article on the subject. Just a handful of FiercePracticeManagement subscribers actually are receptionists, but I'm willing to bet that a good portion of you are their managers. That particular article called for giving receptionists more credit; it's often said that administrative staff are among the hardest working, lowest paid, and least appreciated people working in medical offices. Smart practices know that these individuals are too vital to their reputations and everyday existence to treat poorly.

We've provided coverage in the past on motivating and retaining good employees, but a recent article in BNET offered a fresh handful of low-cost, high-impact tips for keeping employees happy.

Put yourself in your staffers' shoes (most of you were there once), and consider how appreciative you'd feel if your employer offered some of these perks:

  • Ergonomic chairs and good task lighting. I personally might not have valued these job features much when I was just out of college, but my eye doctor or massage therapist can attest that these details are a decidedly bigger deal today. And remember, less achy muscles translates to fewer sick days.
  • Schedule flexibility. It's summertime. While you may not be able to let everyone leave early every Friday, consider letting staffers take turns enjoying more sunshine one day per week. I've spoken to offices in the past that even offer four-day work weeks in the summer to employees willing to work 10-hour shifts.
  • Small, no-interest loans. Wow. I fully agree with BNET that this gesture, even if I never took advantage of it, would not go unnoticed. "Talk to your accountant about how to administer such a program, and be sure to cap these as ‘micro' loans that will just help people on small purchases," the authors suggest.

Have you offered any of these or other creative benefits to your employees? If you've come up with any other big winners (or losers), please share them! - Deb

P.S. Want to share your own experiences and ideas? If your practice has uncovered a great solution to a vexing practice management problem, I invite you to contact me. Let's talk about how we can share your experience and expertise with FiercePracticeManagement readers!