When you have a stellar employee — say, an amazing MA or RN, or a superstar patient service performer at your front desk — it’s likely that this hard-working, dedicated employee is hoping you’re noticing. And it’s also likely they’re hoping that you’re noticing because you’re thinking about giving them more responsibility, allowing them to develop more skills, and nurturing their aspirations.
Too often, though, physicians and medical practice managers react to notable displays of talent and dedication by doing everything they can to keep that superstar employee in the same job. It’s understandable: who wouldn’t want to have the world’s best MA supporting them at a busy practice? But when that superstar is looking to grow and advance, they’ll eventually only resent your efforts to keep them in the same role ‘because they’re so great at it.’ They’re going to start to feel punished for their excellent performance. And when that employee realizes that you’re never going to allow them to grow because they’re ‘too good’ at their current role, he or she will start looking for a better growth opportunity elsewhere.
Even if your practice is small, you can give employees a feeling of growth and development in their jobs. If your practice is so small that it’s inevitable that strong performers will feel compelled to leave eventually, manage for this outcome. Help employees to grow and expand their responsibilities and earn recognition while they’re with you. You’ll enrich their experiences while they are on your team and help keep morale high — and, you’ll be more ready if it unexpectedly becomes necessary to promote someone new to practice manager or team lead. Regardless of the size of your practice, cultivating ‘bench strength’ is important to protect your business — and the process of doing it can help your staff members feel more excited about their future prospects (either with you or in their next role). Even when employees end up moving on, if they’ve had a wonderful experience working with you, there’s always the chance you’ll be able to hire them back at a higher level when, say, your manager retires in the future — and they’ll leave your employ with good feelings that they’ll share with anyone who asks about your practice.