But very few actually take the time to ensure that their most valuable assets have what they need to perform their best. We believe they have what they need; we think they are comfortable; we assume they are happy, but how do we really know?
We have a small group in our office that has been with us for a long time and for the most part, I have always assumed I have a good understanding of how they feel about their jobs, their coworkers and the company in general.
But then I realized, I’ve always assumed. Never have I asked direct questions about how they truly feel about me (as their leader, boss, or manager) or the medical practice.
So I decided to change that.
I drafted a series of questions to ask our employees. The questions were designed to get a better understanding of their feelings about me as their manager, the office, their co-workers and the company in general. I also wanted to determine if our most valuable assets have what they need to continue being our most valuable assets.
And here is what I asked them to complete:
- What is most satisfying thing about your job?
- What is the least satisfying thing about your job?
- Do you receive enough training to do your job effectively?
- Do you receive adequate support to do your job?
- Are you satisfied with this company’s merit review process?
- Does this company help you to fulfill your career goals?
- What can we do to make your position better?
- If you could define our practice philosophy in one sentence, what would you say?
- How does the management do at treating you and others employees as their first customers?
- Has management been fair and consistent when dealings with employees? I not, explain why not.
- What could management do better to express loyalty to the staff and to gain loyalty from the staff?
- Do you feel you are adequately informed ahead of time about changes?
- Do you feel in control of your workload?
- Do you feel your bosses are open and honest in dealing with employees?
- Do you have a clear understanding of what is expected of you?
- Do you dread coming to work everyday? If so, why?
- Is the office environment between employees and physicians comfortable?
- Name 3 things your boss could do better to serve team members.
I asked the staff to answer the questions to the best of their abilities. I told them that the more they shared with us, the better. Not only will the responses give me an idea of areas where we can improve on, but it also is a way to gauge how satisfied they were with their job; which is crucial in helping us achieve our mission at the practice.
I could tell they were a little hesitant to fill it out the questionnaire. They wanted to know if it was anonymous and if their would be consequences if we didn’t like the answers.
I explained that it was not anonymous. Second, I told them that this was an opportunity to tell me what I could do better as their boss. And lastly, I told them that if they weren’t truthful, the exercise was worthless.
I did get very interesting responses. I’m still going over them, but some of the things that jumped out was how we/I reprimanded the staff. They don’t appreciate it when one of them screws up and all of them get reprimanded.
I’ll have to reassess this issues as it conflicts with my all for one, one for all management philosophy (if one fails, we all fail; if one succeeds, we all succeed).
They also pointed out that we/I did not do a good job of letting the staff know of changes within a reasonable time frame. So now, I know to announce things sooner rather than later.
I still need to go over them in detail, but overall, the feedback went well I think. I learned there are areas I need to work on and I also got to know my staff a little better.
Do you think this is a valuable exercise you could do in your practice?