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5 Mistakes That Cause Low Employee Engagement in Practices

Every organization has the potential to suffer from low employee engagement, and a medical, dental, or chiropractic practice is no different. Indeed, there are many instances where the direct action of managers can cause low employee engagement, ultimately leading to high turnover and team members leaving a practice.

This article will discuss the most common mistakes leading to low engagement and solutions to create a productive, healthy environment for every employee in your practice.

1. Micromanaging Employees

There is little more frustrating for a team member than to have a manager who hovers over their shoulder, intruding on their independence and watching every potential mistake they make. It doesn't matter if you work in a doctor, chiropractor, or dentist's office: Your job is to keep your patients well-treated and safe, not to ensure that your employees are correctly filling out each and every form. There is no question that you’d want to make sure that a team member treated patients with dignity and respect, but monitoring the neatness of a desk that no one ever saw would be a great example of micromanagement. 


5 Mistakes That Cause Low Employee Engagement in Practices

To improve employee engagement, use robust technological solutions. Look to automate appropriate processes and ensure you don't need to bother team members with every little request. Having access to such software allows you to keep your interactions with employees centered around patient care instead of micromanaging.

Fortunately, at HR for Health, we offer software that can allow for time off requests, the editing of timesheets, document storage and will automatically remind your employee when they need to make changes or clock in. 

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2. Failing to Enforce Rules and Deadlines

Your team members deserve to know when they are violating workplace rules and be given the chance to correct the behavior in question. It can be very disheartening for them to engage in a specific behavior for months or years, only to later be told that what they are doing violates your policy. There is nothing wrong with enforcing rules or deadlines. However, you have to be consistent in how these are implemented. For example, if there are rules about lunch breaks, you have to enforce those consistently and for all employees. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to level-set, including by setting clear expectations and laying out expected behaviors in your employee handbook. If you need assistance with your handbook, HR for Health has experts on-hand that can create customized options for your practice.  

Furthermore, you can use our Notes and Violations feature to track and document employee behavior, including when violations occur, what the consequences of those violations are, and what follow-up is needed. This can be very important and easy to use, but should only be incorporated after clearly setting expectations with your employees. This can be done by providing them a handbook and verbally correcting their behavior. If changes are not made, you can issue a formal warning, then document that warning. 

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3. Favoritism 

You risk creating significant challenges for your practice if you favor one employee over another or if you do anything that will lead

5 Mistakes That Cause Low Employee Engagement in Practices

 to that perception. A critical component of improving employee engagement is treating all employees fairly. Fair treatment of all employees means showing the same employees the same rewards and treating all employees the same.


Consider developing an employee handbook that will allow you to be consistent with how you enforce all rules and policies. Doing so can help remove any questions about favoritism, thus helping you to improve employee engagement. 

4. Burnout

The simple truth is that this is a highly stressful time for any team member in any industry. Those issues are even worse in any sort of medical industry — dental, optometry, veterinarian, or more. As such, you must ensure that your team is taking care of themselves, lest they burn out and leave.

At HR for Health, we have robust employee performance review software to help catch problems before they become severe. This module, combined with regular communications, can help to stop minor issues before they become major ones. As a practice manager, it can also give you a chance to determine better when an employee may be struggling. Employee reviews can allow you to address these issues and improve employee engagement before you lose the employee.  

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HR Software as a Part of Your Employee Burnout Recovery Plan

5. Failing to Communicate Expectations

Your team members deserve to know what you expect of them. This falls across a variety of areas, including dress code, practice culture, notice before taking time off, and more. Fortunately, communicating what you expect from your team members is often as simple as taking a couple clear steps. For example, let’s say your practice prohibits wearing open-toed shoes. It would be deeply unfair for you to reprimand an employee for violating this policy when it was never communicated. 


5 Mistakes That Cause Low Employee Engagement in Practices

First, create a handbook and ensure that your team members sign a receipt that acknowledges that they read it. This ensures that they will know what you expect of them in terms of rules and proper workplace behavior. This doesn’t guarantee that team members will always meet the expectations you set out for them, of course. In those instances, you can always rely on HR for Health experts to give you customized advice on how to enhance your communication with employees, or how to have a conversation with an employee who needs to improve.

Finally, you can use HR for Health’s documentation and performance review modules to note specific conversations and track what an employee specifically needs to do to improve.

What You Need To Know

If you are looking to improve employee engagement, you need a plan. You also must ensure that you consciously attempt to remove biases, favoritism, and communication errors. Fortunately, when it comes to improving employee engagement, it is often as simple as actively managing human resource policies. You need to automate specific processes, clearly set expectations for behavior, and make sure you are addressing employee needs.

How HR for Health Can Help

At HR for Health, we're here to help. We have experts on hand that can help you better manage your practice, communicate with employees, and protect your various practice. Want more information? Contact us today to set up a 15-minute consultation and learn more about how HR for Health can help your practice grow and thrive.

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