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    How to train, retain great staff


    Evaluating, rewarding employees

    Some common themes emerged when dermatologists were asked about staff meetings and employee reviews. All of us conduct at least monthly staff meetings and semi-annual employee reviews. Dr. Jacob says she provides an initial six-week brief employee review to monitor progress and address any issues during the orientation period.   

    These periodic meetings allow sufficient time to evaluate employee progress and performance. Staff appreciates feedback. Predictable intervals between performance evaluations allow sufficient time to identify deficiencies and applaud work well done.

    Opinions vary on how to reward staff for hard work. Performance-based annual bonuses, merit-based annual wage increases, gift cards, individual recognition, or holiday parties are just some of the ways you may consider compensating staff. The key is for staff to value the compensation, rather than it becoming an expectation. 

    Rewards for employees may be less predictable. Offering opportunities for continuing medical education, creating in-office retreats, or providing out-of-office team building activities are a few “out of the box” means of showing staff that you care about them.

    Dr. Comstock offered a day of “TED talk”-style presentations for her staff that included motivational speakers and talks themed around beauty. I have found success in rewarding staff with off-campus bonding events for hitting performance measures or sales goals for our practice. Recent excursions have included a brunch and spa getaway, a dinner at the local firehouse with a ride on the fire truck, and opening day at the Del Mar Raceway.

    At the end of the day, employees really want to feel valued. Dr. Bertucci perhaps states it best: “I think that treating staff with respect is key to retaining them.” Remember to give them appropriate recognition, thank them for a job well done, and recognize they can make your day exponentially easier, so encourage them to do so.  

    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., M.B.A.
    Melanie D. Palm, M.D., is director of Art of Skin MD in Solana Beach, Calif. Visit her at http://www.artofskinmd.com


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