Practice Experience Podcast: How Employee Engagement Can Change Your Life

In this episode of the Practice Experience Podcast, we tackle employee engagement ideas and how to empower the whole clinical team for success.

In this episode of the Practice Experience Podcast, we tackle employee engagement ideas and how to empower the whole clinical team for success.

Ryan Giebel
5 min read
March 14, 2024
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In the ever-changing healthcare field, practice owners would love if employee engagement consistently remained high and turnover remained low. Losing a great employee can be tough for practices of all sizes; staffing shortages create near- and long-term hurdles for owners and managers to navigate. Luckily, our profession has thought leaders ready to provide fresh and realistic employee engagement strategies.

In this episode of The Practice Experience Podcast, WebPT Co-Founder and Chief Clinical Officer Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, and Brian Hartz, DPT, MPT, OCS, CSCS, CEO and Founder of Hartz Physical Therapy, discuss how employee engagement—when done right—unleashes clinic-wide potential.

To set every clinic up for success—regardless of location—the two tackle subjects like: 

  • setting employees up for success,
  • measuring the ROI of employee engagement, and
  • providing transparency of how the business is running.

Episode Highlights

On Company Culture and Employee Engagement Not Being One in the Same

Brian: So halfway along my journey [as a clinic owner], I had this premonition that company culture and employee engagement are not the same thing. I think that's a big mistake a lot of practice owners and business owners—not just in medicine—are making right now. Not that company culture isn't super important, because it is. Especially in my practice, where we do specific activities to build company culture, but that doesn't necessarily equate to building employee engagement. I think they're significantly different, and you need to treat them both a little bit differently, as well.

On Brian’s Definition of Employee Engagement Ideas

Brian: It's if your employees are 100% bought into the mission of your business and helping you achieve your goals. But it goes past that; I like to flip the script, look at my team, and see if I can tell which one of my employees is not engaged. And I think that's a really easy task. I know when I help other businesses go through this, it doesn't take long to determine which of their employees may not be fully engaged. 

On the Hiring Process

Brian: We at our practice hire for cultural fit, signs of initiative, and willingness to grow. We can teach them anything clinically or administratively, give them the resources they need, and set them up for success. But you can't teach those intangibles, and you can't teach drive or having a practitioner that shows a lot of initiative or buy-in. So, I think that goes into your hiring process.

On Getting Away from the Traditional Performance Review

Brian: We have a lot of metrics involved. There are expectations, but we've redefined that to try and bring into focus what's truly important. Yes, the key performance indicators (KPIs) are important because you need to meet certain standards to run a business, but how else can we encourage our staff to be engaged and to go above and beyond? We run a special engagement program and do crazy things with our employees—all on an objective scale. So, we use a point system that yields fun rewards and staff trips—and more. 

On Being Transparent When Running a Rehab Therapy Business

Heidi: How engaged are your employees in the business side of your practice to where they can see this engagement strategy? How transparent are you with the dynamics and the financial aspect of your business with all of your employees?

Brian: Almost completely transparent. And that's changed from probably 15 years ago. As [new grads] come out of PT school and are eager, they don't necessarily understand the business part. That's not taught. Such as how much a new hire employee's expense is to a business—it isn't just their salary. You have to account for benefits and taxes—there are a lot of other factors.

Listen and subscribe to The Practice Experience Podcast:

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