Jay Holmes: Welcome to the Medical Management Podcast. A podcast focused on helping you level up your practice. Through interviews with some of the most successful leaders in the industry, we help uncover resources, tools, and ideas to help you level up your practice. Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy today's program.
Jesse Arnoldson: Hello and welcome to the Medical Management Podcast for MedMan, I'm your host Jesse Arnoldson. Last episode we tried something a little bit different where we did a Q&A session filled with some of the most frequent questions that we get over social media, email, and while we're in on-site, in some clinics. Last time we focused on recruitment and interviewing, this time we're going to focus on people management. I only have a couple of questions as I kind of pooled a number of these questions and put them together. But let's kick things off. The first one comes to us from somebody out of Utah, at a primary care clinic, it says, I feel like every time I turn around, someone is asking for a raise or leaving our clinic for just a dollar better in pay down the road. I don't feel like we pay unfairly, but it just seems to always be a problem. What should we do? This is a true issue, but I don't think that we look at it the right way. I think that, that we kind of allow our staff, our team members, to influence how we look at pay. For me personally, I see pay as you have to meet a minimum amount of pay and then you focus on other aspects of the position that help with whether you're feeling fulfilled, whether people care about you, whether you feel appreciated, whether you feel like you have the tools to be successful in your job, whether you like the people you work with, there's so many other things. Pay does not fix other issues. You can throw an extra dollar or two dollars, you can be that clinic that pays just a little bit more than anybody else down the road. But most of the time it's a symptom of an actual underlying issue. But it just gets painted with pay because people, what they'll do is, you know, I'm going through all this stuff, I'm struggling with this, I don't feel like I'm doing great here, and for what? I can make an extra buck fifty down the road if I just make a switch. And so where I would start is first you do need to take a look at your pay scales. If you don't have pay scales, then that is maybe more of a problem than what I'm alluding to. So, one, you need good pay scales that are backed up by actual data and you can get that data either from MGMA, your state's labor departments. You can go out and take a look at what other clinics are paying in their job postings. You can look at Salary.com, Glassdoor, Indeed. There's so many places that you can get good data to help you establish strong pay scales. And when I say pay scales is that you need to also, in addition to finding where you're going to anchor the pay, which is what all that data will help with, is figuring out, OK, how much are we going to pay for how much experience, how much schooling, how much this or that and being able to have a minimum, a maximum and then the different levels that you're going to move people up through. Once you've established good pay scales with good data that you feel you can look somebody in the eye and justify, you need to stick with them. Far too often we let people negotiate better, the squeaky wheel gets the better pay, anything like that. And I'm sorry, but I don't want to pay somebody simply because they're a better negotiator. I want to pay because they had great experience, I want to pay them for the education they have, I want to pay them for how, you know, effective they are in their job. The last thing is taking a look at the other things and digging deeper with these people to figure out what may be some of the other underlying issues are. There is one more thing that helped me a whole lot, as I've been in different clinics, is I established a general philosophy around pay raises and what it would take to get a pay raise. And my philosophy is just one way, but I think having some set manner in which you can get a raise is helpful. I saw one of my favorite administrators of all time in Bend, Oregon, he established a merit-based way of getting paid more. And so he had different ways, different skills, different things, responsibilities you could take on, all these different pathways that as soon as you accomplish them, you could get a raise. And so it was up to you if you wanted to get a raise or not. I've seen other people that have simply, you know, myself, I established three ways in which you could get a raise. One would be everybody gets their annual three percent increase or if your job description changes drastically, that's another way. If you take on a lead position or switch roles from front desk to care coordinator or you're a medical assistant, but then got your RN degree, sure, that can merit a pay raise. Finally, if we need to do a market adjustment, that can be an area that is understandable. Maybe our pay scales are lower than what fair market is. Or maybe we brought somebody in and placed them inside the pay scale unfairly. We didn't give them enough credit for their experience. That's the third way. So establishing and communicating what that method is for getting a pay raise is very important, in your onboarding, in your training, in your response, whenever somebody asks for a raise, you can go through one of these three ways or this is the way that you can get a raise. That's always really helpful. And in the end, just give yourself a break, because if you've done all those things and somebody's still leaving for an extra dollar 50 raise down the road, sometimes it's just going to happen. And so to get a little bit easy on yourself and try in your hiring process to find somebody that maybe puts a little bit more weight on the other areas that you can control a little bit better, culture appreciation, giving them the right tools and training to feel successful in their job.
Jesse Arnoldson: All right, next question, what are some tips for delivering feedback? This is something that I've seen a lot of lately, and maybe because Jay prompted me to read a book called The Coaching Habit, I've been listening to a couple of different podcasts that just, you know, in a timely fashion, were about feedback and coaching and all that. It can be difficult depending on your personality, about whether or not you deliver feedback well. On one side, you can be this really nice person who far too often is scared to give feedback or won't give feedback because you don't want to hurt the person's feelings. On the other side of the coin, you have people that are just very direct and maybe a little bit lost in what direct should be and not be. I think I heard a fantastic podcast from Adam Grant where it's called working with a**holes. Being direct doesn't mean you have to be in a**hole. It can mean that you're demanding, that you require a high standard and the other people meet that, but it doesn't mean you need to be a jerk. And so I think that one, giving feedback has a lot to do with your own personal style. Tone, timing approach, these are all extremely important in how you're going to give feedback. But I don't think that there's a single way or a single personality that does it well. I think that there's just, depending on who you are, different tools, different skills, different approaches that can make you the best version of yourself possible. For me, I needed to get out of this headspace where giving feedback meant hurting somebody's feelings. I needed to understand that by painting a rosier picture than what reality was, was probably hurting the person more than just giving them good feedback early on. So one of it was just getting the right understanding of what feedback meant, that I was there to help that person rather than to just change them or to let them know how bad of a job they're doing or let them know what mistakes they're making. It really is me sitting next to this person and helping them solve our problem, not just their problem. The second thing was getting the courage to do so. These conversations, I'm telling you, once you're in them and if you really care about the person and you're doing it to help them, quite often, just getting into it is the hardest part. And the conversation itself is a good one. And so you just need about eight seconds of courage to get in there and get the conversation started. Another big tip is timeliness. The sooner you approach something, the better. Giving something weeks, months, even waiting until their annual review to give feedback, quite often, the feedback does more damage than if you had just not said anything at all. And so if you can be in the moment and approach somebody if you can take care of the issue at the end of the day if you can have a monthly review that allows you to give feedback more often and for it to be expected, that can be really helpful. Lastly, ask yourself whether the feedback is actually going to help or not. Far too often people are like, yeah, I saw this person be a little bit short with a patient. OK, you know, how often does that happen? I've never seen it before and this is the first time, or, whatever it may be. Sometimes you really have to ask yourself, is this feedback going to be helpful? Is it something that I really need to stop? Is it dangerous? Yes, I need to take it on. Those things can be really helpful because sometimes not everything needs to be said. Lastly, feedback has to be first-hand. Stop allowing people to bring you their issues with other people and for you to take them on, and with second-hand information, try and give somebody feedback.
Jesse Arnoldson: The next and last question is, how do I get rid of the drama? Somebody's always fighting with somebody. It's exhausting. I know I'm the leader, but I just don't know how to fix the situation. So where I was going with that last bit on the feedback question, second-hand criticism can kill your culture. What I mean by that is so-and-so comes to me and says, hey, this person bit my head off, I want you to fix it, and maybe they don't say that last sentence, but that's what's implied. And so you go to person B and say, hey, you know, person A came to me and said, hey, you bit their head off. What do you mean I bit their head off? They were being a jerk, you know, and, oh, well, I didn't know that. And then you go back to person A, wait, you know I wasn't being a jerk, you know, it just, it compiles, people don't like to be talked about negatively, even if it's something that's their fault. And so the second that you bring up somebody else was talking about them, it causes their anxiety to go up, their blood pressure to go up, and they start looking for any reason to be defensive, to defend themselves. And so it doesn't help. It doesn't help. And so my personal philosophy has always been, OK, you know, that's a really crummy problem, I'm going to coach you how to go back and talk with them. Let's talk about it. Let's talk about how you're going to address it with them, because this is important and OK, so here we go. I would go through and try and help them and then I would hold them accountable. Hey, I want you to talk to them today. Tomorrow morning I want to catch back up with you and see how it went. If you can get people to handle their first-hand problems themselves, trauma goes way down. It decreases the amount of work you have to do, and it actually solves the problems that they're having. If they're bringing them to you and you're allowing them to dump these problems off on your doorstep every time, one, it prevents you from doing your job; two, it creates complainers, because they just come to you, they drop a problem, they leave. They're like, oh, I did this before, I'm going to go and drop another problem on Jesse's doorstep, and another one, and another one, to the point where they're just so critical of one another and bringing you all these complaints; third, it never solves the actual problem. You going with second-hand information is not going to work. Now, if it's something dangerous or absolutely inappropriate, let's say sexual advancements that are unwanted, sexual advances, or whatever it may be, something dangerous. Yes, you have to take care of that issue. But if it's just the normal run-of-the-mill critiques of one another, pushing back on them, having them solve those problems, that can decrease the amount of toxicity and drama in your culture.
Jesse Arnoldson: Well, we've reached the end of our Q&A for this week. A reminder, last episode we talked about recruitment and interviews, this time talking about people management. I just want to encourage our listeners to send us questions. I would love to know what's going on in your clinic and how we can be of help, that can help us tailor our topics to be a little bit more applicable and custom fit for you. So please reach out to us over Facebook, LinkedIn, our website, you can reach any of us, we're first name@MedMan.com. My email is Jesse, J E S S E @MedMan.com. We also have a chat feature on our website. Send us questions about what you're facing in your clinics, we would love to address them! Before you go too far, make sure that you subscribe to the Medical Management Podcast so that you can stay tuned and up to date for the most current information that MedMan is putting out there. We'll see you next time!
Jay Holmes: Thanks for tuning in to the Medical Management Podcast. We hope you enjoyed today's featured guest. For the show notes, transcripts, resources, and everything else MedMan does to help you level up, be sure to visit us at MedMan.com.
People management can be one of the most difficult and important parts of a job. In this episode, Jesse answers some questions regarding this topic from his experience in MedMan. The first question is regarding payments, and Jesse does an emphasis on pay scales. He also shares three methods he has used for people to get a pay raise. Giving feedback may be a delicate topic, but there is a lot to learn on how to do it. There is not a single personality to “correctly” give feedback. The final question has to do with the drama between co-workers and how to resolve them.
Have any questions you would like Jesse to answer? Remember you can email him and see if your question is featured in a future Q&A episode!
A good payment doesn’t fix other issues like feeling important, cherished and fulfilled at work.
Check your pay scales constantly and compare them to sites like Salary.com, Glassdoor, or job postings from companies that do the same work you do.
Once you have pay scales in place, stick to them.
After pay scales, put in place a method for people getting raises in their salary.
There are two types of people when it comes to giving feedback: those that don’t give it because they don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings and those who are very direct about it.