Retraining Employees? Three Tips for Handling Any Pushback
In a previous life, I worked in for a home care agency. When I arrived, I was the low woman on the totem pole designated as the Personnel Coordinator/Recruiter. I remember being excited to leave the previous hellhole I was in and moving on to a much more sane environment – or so I thought.
During my first few weeks, there were quite a few whispers of the headquarters wanting to shut down the location I worked at. I never understood why until I examined how they were managing both the business and workforce closer. The “greener pasture” I moved onto was sending people namely healthcare practitioners into people’s homes being undertrained. You may be saying to yourself: “Well that’s not profound, because no one trains anymore” and you would be mistaken.
If there is a field where training is of the utmost importance – it is healthcare. In healthcare, people are often times coming to you when they are at their worst. For many of our clients at this company, having an in-home healthcare provider was both life-saving and life-preserving. That said, it was perplexing to find that not only were our employees not properly orientated and assimilated into the company; but they were not made to keep up with their ongoing training.
As I got the handle of my job and what needed to be done, I asked the Director for budget to launch an official orientation program. I explained to her that many of the personnel issues they were having was due to our employees not knowing our “way” of serving our patients/clients. Although, I will not disclose the company’s name, they had a manifesto of sorts that outlined the spirit with which they served clients and none of our practitioners knew it.
I ultimately received the budget to launch my orientation program as well as got the green light to revive our in-service process for the practitioners. Let’s just say I was not exactly popular among our employees for contacting them about lacking in-service hours. They had been allowed for several years prior to be scheduled and deployed to patient’s homes without having to upkeep their skills.
Here are three tips that I used for handling the pushback I received on retraining our employees:
- Don’t finger point. If I wanted to absolve myself of any wrongdoing I could have because I was new and also knew who dropped the ball in administering the onboarding and training programs for our practitioners. The reality is that wouldn’t have solved our problem of having under-trained employees. Instead, I explained to every employee that I understood that what I was proposing posed and imposition. I followed that statement up by letting them know that I would do everything in my power to help them meet our requirements.
- Do what you can to help your employees adjust. As I mentioned, I gave the employees my word that I would get them to the finish line. Too often, we make promises to our employees and fail to follow through. In my case, this meant early mornings in different counties to accommodate our employees commute time. This also meant accommodating various schedules by having morning and afternoon orientation sessions so no one missed out.
- Hold your internal partners accountable to the changes being made. One of the greatest detractors of change is the lack of buy-in from leadership down the command chain. While I obtained the budget I needed and had the blessing of my C-Suite, I had to constantly meet with my managers and nurse supervisors to make sure there was a united front as we proceeded with the changes I was proposing. Everyone from staffing supervisors to the director was involved in the process. I made it so they couldn’t ignore me and go back to the way it was.
Change in organizations is difficult particularly when it hints on the workforce being under-skilled and/or trained. Making sure your workforce is armed to do the work is not only important; your customers and/or clients depend on their expertise. Don’t let your fear of backlash or pushbacks deter you from making sure your employees are skilled and prepared to serve.
Advisors Will Be Extinct in 5 Years Unless…
I’ve had financial advisors for more than 40 years. Not once in those years have I called my advisor to find out what stock/funds I should buy or sell. But I have called to find out where I should get my first mortgage, when to sell my house, or how much income I could get in retirement.
In short -- and I think I’m pretty typical – I was looking for financial advice, as it relates to my life.
Here’s the disconnect, what most advisors do is simply manage their clients’ assets. They determine what to buy, and what to sell, they think about risk management, about growing their practice by finding new clients and about getting paid.
Historically that has been the business model. But as more women take control over financial assets, they, like me, will be looking for a different experience. And unless the financial community is willing to change ….. advisors, as they are today will be extinct in five years.
Advisors who want to survive will have to do a lot more than just manage money – they will have to provide genuine “advice”. That means doing what’s right for the client, not pushing product and pretending it’s advice.
Women especially, but all investors generally, are becoming more and more cynical. They says, “If I want advice about reducing my debt, that’s what I want and not ‘here’s more debt’ because that’s what my advisor gets paid for! And if saving taxes is what I want then saving taxes should take precedent over selling me a product.”
You may be thinking that spending your time providing advice isn’t lucrative but the reality is that in the long run – it pays off in spades. The advisors who take the time to build real relationships with clients, who provide advice as it relates to their clients’ lives, even when there is no immediate financial benefit to themselves, those who don’t simply push product – are the ones who over time have the most successful practices.
Generally women understand and value service, but they will say, “If I’m paying, I want to know what I’m paying for: Is it for returns? Is it for advice? Is it for administration? I want to know. Then I can make up my mind what’s worth it and what isn’t.”
Investing is becoming a commoditized business and technology is replacing research that no one else can find. Today the average advisor is hard pressed to consistently beat the markets, and with women emerging as the client of the future, unless they start providing real advice, their jobs will likely be extinct in five years.
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