IDOC actively shares industry-focused articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos and other thought leadership with our members and other optometric practitioners. Below, you will find links to our growing library of educational materials and multi-media assets written and created by IDOC's team of seasoned industry experts.
Amy Alvarez | 7/15/2022
“Marketing” Isn’t Just for Patients

I think I would be hard pressed to find an independent practice owner who doesn’t understand the power that marketing has on their ability to attract patients to their practice. Keeping patients, new and existing, visiting the practice is an important part of a successful business.

The main focuses of marketing are attracting, engaging, and retaining patients. These are also the ideal outcomes for our employees. With our employees, we call this communication and, if executed correctly, it can have a great impact on attraction, engagement, and retention.

Understanding the different types of communication that are important to your employees will allow you to will bring candidates to your business, excite your employees about their work, and keep them employed long-term.

Day to Day Communication

Most practices are familiar with day-to-day communication, which can include check-ins and daily chit chat, daily huddles, weekly meetings, performance reviews, policy updates, business results, and KPIs. These offer opportunities to inform employees about the business and help them stay connected to results. Business updates can keep the relationship between the employer and employee informed, while performance check-ins and reviews can keep the employer and employee relationship engaged. 

Daily communication is important, but there are additional opportunities for communication as well that deserved not to be missed. When there is time or money being exchanged, if we don’t communicate, we aren’t getting as much for our buck. Let’s take a look at a few additional communication opportunities.

Communicate During Recruitment

Hiring new employees has been difficult for several years with a tightening labor market, and 2022 has been no exception. It is as important, if not more important, to sell employment to candidates than for candidates to sell themselves to the practice. Yes, skills, experience, and personality fit are all factors in the hiring decisions we make, but to get the attention of candidates in a tight labor market, communicating what your practice is about and the benefits of working with your team will be a game changer for recruitment.

Communicate About Change

Change is amazing. It allows us to grow, shift, overcome obstacles, and hopefully make work easier. But humans do not naturally like change because our brains are not wired for it. It makes us uncomfortable, especially if we don’t understand it. When making changes in the practice, planning for and communicating about those changes, however small or large, will make a difference in the adoption by your team.

Recognition and Engagement

Every practice I talk to knows the importance of recognizing their employees and managing their compensation in an appropriate way. We do these things because they help to reduce stress, acknowledge employees’ hard work, and show them they are appreciated. But these catered lunches, summer hours, compensation and bonuses, and team building activities only have those effects if we talk about it. These things are huge investments for practices, and we leave money on the table when we don’t make a point to explain why we have chosen to do them.

“Market” to Your Candidates and Employees

Spending the time to “market” to candidates and employees provides a greater opportunity to influence the employer/employee relationship and leads to longer lasting engagement. Engaged employees have greater productivity and greater productivity will benefit patients and the growth of your practice.

If you need help with strategies for successfully communicating with your team and potential candidates, IDOC can help. Reach out to IDOC HR Consulting and we will coach you through the process so you can set your employees—and your practice—up for success.

Amy Alvarez
HR Consulting and Services Manager
Amy Alvarez, SHRM-CP is IDOC’s Human Resources Consultant. Amy has experience in HR in healthcare and retail, management in big box and specialty retail stores and physician recruitment. Through these roles and training, Amy is well-versed in recruitment and hiring strategies for “hard to fill” roles, dealing with low productivity, helping encourage employee engagement, on-boarding, training, day-to-day management in a retail setting, employee relations, and so much more.
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