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INSIGHT

Maintaining an HPO: employees make the difference

By Steve M. Cohen  bio

Among the goals of any organization is to become an HPO — a high performance organization. That means you have created a lean, mean running machine that operates at top efficiency, and your employees are engaged.

Some organizations don’t believe this really applies to them. But look at it this way: Research by the Gallagher Organization has suggested that only 25 percent of the typical work force is engaged. This means that only a fraction of your employees are truly in tune with your mission, vision, and values. As a high performance organization, with a larger core group who can be counted on to care about the organization’s success, your results would be much higher. But will they stay that way?

Nothing stays the same. The economy fluctuates, employees leave for reasons that have nothing to do with job satisfaction, and new employees to replace them or fill the needs of your expanding office can be a challenge no matter how carefully you choose and train. So the question remains: how do you maintain your HPO?

The single most important step is to stay focused on your employees and continually try to expand your group of high achievers. Then, use these top performers to be aware of, train, and convert any middle level or disengaged employees in your organization.

The key is to train and empower this core group to think and engage in problem solving. This ultimately involves all employees, but you should especially encourage your high-performance staff to work with the employees who are good at what they do but not truly engaged. Your core group can help other, less involved, staff to discover ways to heighten commitment and develop more than a superficial “buy-in” to the organization and its goals. In this way, you take your high performance group, appreciate them, and give them what they need to keep all of the parts running at maximum efficiency.

The goal is to maintain zero percent disengaged and no more than 15 percent in the middle group. And remember, this is a process, not a single event. You can’t assume your high-performing employee will stay that way or that a new employee will reach that level of engagement.

Should you find that you still have a few disengaged employees, use counseling and conversion attempts first as there has been both time and financial investment made in them. It’s not good to have a reputation of throwing away people as a first resort when encountering a problem.

If disengaged employees are resistant to your efforts, and the efforts of your high performance group to counsel and move them to engaged, then you need to let them go. Keep the HPO you’ve worked to create by keeping staff that works for, and not against, you.


Steve M. Cohen, Ed.D., CMC is President/Partner of Labor Management Advisory Group, Inc. and HR Solutions: On-Call, both based in Kansas City, MO. For more information, visit www.laborgroup.com or call (913) 927-0229.


The above information is shared by a guest contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Medical Office Manager.

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