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.
Do Valuations Matter?
Written by: David Lebovitz
The S&P 500 has had an impressive start to the year, rising over 4% year-to-date with only three days of negative performance.
However, as the equity market has moved higher, investors have become increasingly concerned about valuation. While it is difficult to ignore the fact that the S&P 500 forward P/E ratio currently sits at 18.5x, well above its 25-year average of 16.0x, we believe elevated valuations may be justified for three reasons. First, 2018 earnings growth is expected to come in around 15%, suggesting investors will be compensated for paying a higher price, and second, inflation and interest rates are both below their long-term averages. In an environment of low rates, low inflation, and healthy earnings, perhaps it is appropriate for stock market valuations to be above average?
Finally, valuation is not a great predictor of short-term returns. As we show on page 6 of the Guide to the Markets, valuation tells you very little about what will happen over the next year, but a decent amount about what to expect over the next five years. For those who are still skeptical about equities given current valuations, it is important to remember that bull markets tend to go out with a bang, rising by an average of 26% during their final 12 months. This makes sitting on the sidelines expensive, particularly in a world of low interest rates.
So are valuations concerning? They have our attention, but we remain cautiously optimistic that equities can continue to push higher. However, late cycle markets require a more nuanced approach to investing, meaning active management will be essential. As such, we continue to see opportunity in the more value-oriented sectors of the market, with energy and financials being two of our favorite ideas.
Low inflation and yields can support higher multiples
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