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PRODUCTIVITY

Forget multitasking! Here are 4 ways to improve your focus and get more done

It’s a typical day at work. You’re on the computer, entering data, while you’re talking on the phone. A staff member comes to your office door, stack of papers in hand, and you motion for her to come in and put the papers on your desk. You continue your phone conversation, momentarily removing your hands from the keyboard in order look through the papers. You’re a multitasking dynamo! But are you really an efficient and effective manager? In fact, researchers find that the interruptions caused by switching tasks have a negative effect on the retention of information. Multitasking is inefficient The problem has to do with the impact of distraction and how it affects memory. Older adults especially have difficulty reengaging quickly when tasks are interrupted. In other words, while… . . . read more.

HIRING

College…no longer the golden ticket for employers or employees

By Lynne Curry College was once the “golden ticket” to the American Dream of greater job security and higher lifetime wages. In the last decade, however, college enrollments have declined. According to a recent Harris poll, 51% of U.S. adults report that skyrocketing college costs have decreased their ability to pursue a post-high school education.1 Although 62% of U.S. employees 25 or older lack a college degree, some employers still use the college degree as gatekeeper when assessing which candidate to hire or promote.2 Does this work any longer, or are employers missing out on skilled employees with talent and drive because the best potential hires lacked the time and money to attend college? No longer the only path Some employers, perhaps forced by the Great Resignation to seek out… . . . read more.

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Staff continuing education: Must you or should you pay for it?

By Paul Edwards I’m looking to hire a new employee and they asked me about my policy on paying for employee CE. I normally don’t pay for employee CE but it sounds important to this potential new employee. What is the best way to handle this? Many individuals working in healthcare fields have annual continuing education (CE) requirements they need to meet in order to maintain certain licenses. Meeting that requirement is an obligation on the individual, not on the practice. Of course, you should keep track of whether your employees have a valid license and are meeting the requirements for renewing it, otherwise it does become a problem for the practice. While you may not be required to help pay for the cost of license renewals or CEs taken… . . . read more.

HIRING

Follow these tips to check references right

By Robert Half You’re hiring and have identified your top candidate for the role based on resumes and multiple rounds of interviews. So you’re set to make a job offer, right? Not quite yet—now it’s time to check references. Sure, you could take everything the candidate has said at face value, but due diligence demands that you get input from managers they’ve worked under at previous companies. Pros and cons of reference checks Getting references from your top job candidates’ former employers isn’t as simple as it used to be. Because managers know that revealing too much or too little can have legal consequences, they are increasingly wary of what and how much they say about past employees and their work histories. Some companies have been sued for not disclosing… . . . read more.

RECRUITING

How to attract employees in the post-pandemic job market

By Lynne Curry The pandemic has changed employees and what they want out of a job. It’s up to employers to recognize these new attitudes toward work and figure out how to attract good staff. See if you relate to the situation described here by a manager in another industry, and if you can use some of the advice.  Question: I always thought I was a good manager. Not anymore. I feel outgunned by what’s happened with my employees. A third of them have left for “better” jobs. The ones who’ve stayed have made it clear they expect higher wages and to work from home when they want.  The woman we hired to handle HR and accounting tells us she’s doing her best, but she hires “the best of the… . . . read more.

HIRING

Diversity messages may backfire when companies focus on bottom line benefits

Companies that justify their diversity efforts by saying that a diverse workforce will improve their bottom line risk alienating the diverse employees that they hope to attract, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. That’s because such “business case” justifications for diversity can backfire, by making members of underrepresented groups—such as LGBTQ professionals, women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields and Black students—feel that they will be judged based on their social identity if they join the company. “These business-case justifications are extremely popular,” said lead author Oriane Georgeac, PhD, a professor at the Yale School of Management. “But our findings suggest that they do more harm than good.” The research was published in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Many companies offer either a “business case” explanation… . . . read more.

ONBOARDING

Don’t forget this crucial first step with your new hires

 By Lynne Curry It’s a crucial first step many managers fail to take. Swamped by other work, they greet their new hires, introduce them to the employees they’re replacing, and leave to attend to other pressing duties. On the surface, this makes sense. The departing employee can easily explain the work that needs to be done. Beneath the surface, this approach carries with it significant risk. If you’re a new hire’s  manager, you want your new employee’s first experience with you to be “I’m looking forward to working with you. Let’s establish what your priorities are and how we can best work together” and not “hello, see you later.” Although your departing employee may be able to outline your new employee’s job duties, they may also communicate an impression different… . . . read more.

YOUR CAREER

How job hunting changed: You have leverage you never had before

By Lynne Curry Question: I left a senior position in a large practice when the pandemic and four children at home forced me out of the workforce. At first, my now ex-husband and I thought I’d take a month off, get the kids settled and return to on-site work. But COVID-19 dragged on, and I couldn’t see leaving the kids at home to fend for themselves while I returned to 10-hour workdays. Then, my personal life turned upside down. Now, I need to return to work. I dread it. I want a job, but no longer want to be a superwoman who can handle a high-profile, high-stress career and still parent. I need “normal.” Forty, maybe 45 hours a week is all I’m willing to give, maybe more if an… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Recession: Get ready for new employer-employee reality

By Lynne Curry The talent war seemed like it would last forever. Employers desperate to fill vacancies but unable to find solid job candidates; applicants receiving multiple job offers; employees expecting more from their employers and using their newfound leverage. Both employees and employers gained as a result. Employers developed compelling value propositions to attract new employees and gained clarity concerning their mission and what they needed and expected from employees. Employers took a fresh look at their pay, benefits packages, and training options. After they recovered from sticker shock, they reaped benefits in the form of engaged, high-performing employees. Employees landed jobs with employers that provided them tangible and intangible benefits in the form of competitive wages, enhanced benefits packages, work/life balancing flexibility and career-enhancing professional development. But things didn’t work… . . . read more.

HIRING

How to find out if the candidate can actually do the job

By Karen Zupko Have you ever hired someone whose professed skill levels during the interview turned out to be lower than you were led to believe? It’s difficult to measure skills and abilities through interview questions alone. Unless you assess candidate skills using objective screening tools, you’ll often be disappointed. Here are 4 ways to reduce the disconnect and hire better candidates. 1. Verify keyboard speed and proficiency. Whether you’re hiring front desk, clinical, or billing staff, or a manager or surgery counselor, everyone in a modern practice must have speedy, efficient keyboard skills. Slow typing impacts team productivity, and inaccurate typing increases the risk of denied claims and electronic health record (EHR) data entry mistakes. Every candidate for every role should be asked to take a typing test. You… . . . read more.


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