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RETURN TO THE OFFICE

Caregiver caught between employer’s expectations and family’s needs

By Lynne Curry As managers require employees to spend more time at the office, they will encounter special circumstances that require special solutions. Consider the following situation of an employee needing to work from home to provide family care. Employee question: Since our schools no longer require masks, my husband and I decided to homeschool our youngest child. My employer initially made this easier by allowing me to work remotely. Although I needed to run into the office occasionally for an hour or two, it wasn’t a problem because my mother-in-law lives with us. Unfortunately, my employer now insists that all employees work a minimum of three full workdays in the office. I argued with my manager and he insisted it was a matter of fairness that I work onsite…. . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

5 ways to say goodbye to the procrastination blues

By Lynne Curry The report’s good, but not good enough. You should have worked on it a week ago, but you put it off. Friday afternoon, you panicked. You killed a perfectly good weekend to get everything finished by the Monday morning due date. If you want to break the “put it off until nearly too late” habit, try these five strategies. 1. Decide you’ll start projects when you need to start them — even if you don’t “feel ready” Procrastinators hesitate to begin projects until they “feel ready.” Unfortunately, you may not feel ready until long after you should have started. The antidote? When you commit to a project, assign a “D” (no more delay) date. When that date arrives, start the project, even if your only action is… . . . read more.

LEADERSHIP

10 tips to turn toxic management to teamwork

By Daryll Esposito You know how valuable your employees are. The question is, do they know you know it? Medical offices face an array of new developments and challenges, from staff shortages to pandemic absences to new practice modes like telehealth. Successful offices must be agile and dynamic, nurturing an environment that is not only productive but also provides flexibility, opportunity, and job satisfaction. Almost two-thirds of small to midsized companies report that employee retention is a bigger problem now than hiring new people, according to research from Zenefits. Losing good employees can lead to delays, disruptions, and reduced morale—which makes good management more important than ever. What is a toxic boss? Leadership is never easy. It requires big-picture thinking, tough calls, and a deft touch to nudge things in… . . . read more.

MANAGING STAFF

Helping your employees help Ukraine  

By Lynne Curry My inbox flooded when I challenged readers “are you brave?” writing about the woman who crashed Russia’s main state news broadcast to protest the Ukraine invasion, and then challenged employers with “what’s occurring in the Ukraine creates widespread grief. Are there ways you can channel your employees’ anger and sense of powerlessness by offering them avenues to respond in humanitarian ways that support Ukrainians fleeing the invasion?” Many employers wrote me and asked “what can we do as coworkers and employers? Here’s how I answered: Employee mental health, well-being and support are within every employer’s scope. As your company’s leaders, you can act with empathy and meaningful support to help your employees weather the emotional impact of devastation in Ukraine. Coworkers can reach out with care and… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

Clocked out or connected: What you need to know about after-hours group chats

By Paul Edwards “Quick question…” Those two words have become increasingly popular as our near-constant attachment to communication devices blurs the line between work and personal time. Whether by phone, laptop, or tablet—via Slack, WhatsApp, or Google Chat—it’s easier than ever for teams to stay in contact after the workday is done. But employers need to be cautious about how they approach group conversations outside of the workplace. Not only will you need to ensure that your employees are clear on the standards for professional conduct within a group chat or text, but whether or not you have to pay employees for the time they spend messaging will depend on several factors, including the content of the messages, how much time is spent messaging, and whether the employees are classified… . . . read more.

EMPLOYER ALERT

Find the CDC’s new (relaxed) masking recommendations for your location

You can find the new COVID-19 masking recommendations your area on a map just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Recognizing that a substantial portion of the population has been vaccinated or has acquired some level of natural immunity, the agency has turned its focus to “protecting those at highest risk of severe outcomes” and minimizing the strain on healthcare systems. So on Feb. 25  the CDC released a color-coded map of all U.S. counties, with green indicating low levels of transmission, yellow indicating medium levels, and orange indicating high levels. A link to the map and related recommendations is here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html CDC advises that masks are no longer necessary in green counties (those with low levels of transmission). In yellow counties (medium transmission), CDC recommends that those… . . . read more.

EMPLOYEE MENTAL HEALTH

Is it poor performance or a personal crisis?

By Paul Edwards Those in the healthcare industry are bound to be ahead of the curve in understanding that mental illness is not a character defect and can be a serious health condition that requires intervention. Despite having a good comprehension of the importance of good mental health hygiene, healthcare professionals tend to fare badly in terms of psychological self-care. While nurses and physicians are at a higher risk of suicide than the general population, this article is focused on employees and how can take the mental health of employees in crisis into account when talking to individuals about their performance at work. Given this past year, just about everyone associated with providing health care, when asked, will tell you they are burned out and tired. Overall, it seems most are facing… . . . read more.

TECHNOLOGY

3 tips for better patient education

The link between patient education and outcomes is clear: When patients understand their diagnosis and treatment plan, they’re more likely to become and remain healthy. In fact, health literacy—the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions—should be a top priority for medical practices seeking to move the needle on value-based care. This social determinant of health is a critical component of value-based care, and addressing it ultimately helps patients take better control over their own health. Why patient education is important Patient education is critical for many reasons, most importantly because it helps patients make informed decisions. This is one of the tenets of patient-centered medical care—to engage patients in the decision-making process. When patients understand their diagnosis and… . . . read more.

PRODUCTIVITY

10 tips for a more efficient medical office

What healthcare provider doesn’t want to see his or her business run more efficiently? After all, a well-run practice usually means increased revenue and happier, healthier patients. In the past, providers relied on smart hiring and organized employees to ensure their practices operated smoothly. But today, it takes a thoughtful blend of solution-based technology and old-school morale boosters to really make your medical office more productive without sacrificing quality of care and patient experience. From better break rooms to online appointment scheduling, read on to discover 10 proven ways to boost your medical practice’s efficiency. Enable online scheduling There’s perhaps no better way to lessen the workload of your administrative staff than with on-demand, 24/7 online scheduling functionality. Here’s how a simple “Book an Appointment” button can streamline operations for your… . . . read more.

MANAGING THE OFFICE

Fear of COVID-19, demand for flexibility dominate return to the office

As the Delta variant continues to proliferate, 42 percent of workers are worried about returning to the workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19. This marks a substantial jump to Sept. 1 from June 2021 when only 24 percent had that concern. “With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, COVID-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen,” said Rebecca Ray, PhD, Executive Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board. Conducted in August by The Conference Board, the new survey captured the thoughts of more than 2,400 US workers on topics including return-to-work anxiety, factors driving them to pursue new job opportunities, opinions about remote work, and more. The survey… . . . read more.


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