“We have been losing grants to other agencies, lately. I don’t know what has been going on, but our reputation seems to be slipping away.” Carol, the director of the grant department articulated these words to Rodis, the consultant.
“You either move forward or backward. There is no staying still when it comes to reputation. It is one of these things we all have to consistently work at, or else, we start losing it,” responded Rodis. “But we can work on restoring and maintaining it. Let’s start by getting to the bottom of things,” he added.
As an agency, you should always pay attention to your reputation, as reputation has a significant impact on your ability to obtain and maintain contracts, as well as retention, morale, and more. Below are five key strategies to restore, establish, and maintain a great reputation for your agency.
1. Treat your Clinicians as you Would Like Them to Treat your Patients and Clients:
“Are we really making a difference? Would the poorly run and disjointed work systems ever change? Do we need to consider a “plan B?” Will it ever be possible to take vacations and not have clients left to themselves, only to suffer setbacks?” Someone offered a solution, “Maybe we just need to keep working and later think about the repercussions of burn out.” A few clinicians articulated these words in response to the way they have been treated at their agency. (See article entitled, Why SWEET Supports Social Workers and other Health Professionals).
“It’s parallel process. We end up treating our clients based on how we feel about ourselves and how we are treated at our agencies. We can do our best to manage ourselves, but there comes a time when we experience burn out and all bets are off,” explained Sara, a social worker. Treating your clinicians in the way you would like them to treat patients and clients is well endorsed and encouraged in the world of business. In a previous article, I explained that your front-liners spend the most time with your customers, and keeping customers happy often means keeping front-liners happy. Treating clinicians well trickles down to the care of our patients and clients, and it is a key strategy to restoring, establishing, and maintaining a great reputation for our agencies.
2. Decrease your clinician turnover rate:
In a previous article entitled, Preventing Burnout: From a System Perspective: 4 Reasons Why, I described that decreasing staff turnover is one of the four main reasons why the system, as a whole, needs to address clinician burnout and help promote self-care. “When I first came to the HOPE Care Center, part of my strategic plan was centered around staff recruitment. Making any sustainable change would require a sustainable staffing matrix. However, I soon realized this was more a recruitment issue; we had a staff turnover crisis that needed to be fixed immediately.” Elena, the Chief Medical Officer uttered these words, with some resignation. I also sustained that staff turnover has several ramifications, including and not limited to, resources being spent on ongoing staff onboarding; decreased productivity, compromise of care, and overall waste. It affects the reputation of our agency and addressing it is a key strategy to establishing and maintaining our such reputation.
3. Recruit strategically:
Recruitment ought to be part of any strategic plan of any agency, but the caveat is how to do it successfully and strategically. In a previous article entitled, Recruiting Successfully: 5 Additional Key Strategies, I described the need to: (1) Help inspire; (2) Promote excellence; (3) Help keep the end in mind; (4) Stand out; and (5) Get involved in your community, as strategic steps to take towards a successful recruitment. As you can see, a great reputation will help with successful recruitment, and vice versa. Recruiting strategically can, indeed, help your agency grow tremendously.
In the above paragraph, I mentioned the previous article on recruiting successfully, and I outlined “Stand out” as one of the key strategies to successful recruitment. I also mentioned that strategic recruitment and a great reputation for our agencies go hand in hand. Another recruitment strategy that also has a reciprocal relationship with agency reputation is to “stand out,” which can be accomplished by specializing. Certainly, there are several ways to stand out, but specializing is a strategic and sure way to do so. Describing the strategies to specializing is beyond the scope of this article, but you can start thinking about ways to do that, as you embark in your endeavor to establish and maintain a great reputation for your agency.
5. Create Systems:
In a previously article, I described generating systems and processes as one of the essential steps. I explained that having a system helps with efficiency, effectiveness, and better delegation, regardless of how simple or complex the task may be. I added that it is important to make sure that our clinicians learn that they can be flexible and innovative but within a framework. Having systems in place allows for a smooth workflow, helps with expectations, diminishes the number of unpredictable outcomes, which then helps decrease burnout, and helps us restore, establish, and maintain a great reputation for your agency.
“We have been losing grants to other agencies, lately. I don’t know what has been going on, but our reputation seems to be slipping away.” Carol, the director of the grant department articulated these words to Rodis, the consultant. “You either move forward or backward. There is no staying still when it comes to reputation. It is one of these things we all have to consistently work, or else, we start losing it,” responded Rodis. “But we can work on restoring and maintaining it. Let’s start by getting to the bottom of things,” added Rodis.
Five key strategies, which, if implemented, will help you restore, establish, and maintain a great reputation for your agency.
Treat you Clinicians as you Would Like Them to Treat your Patients and Clients
Decrease your clinician turnover rate
When would you like to start implementing at least one of these five key strategies? Contact us and let us know how we can help.
Dr. Sidor is quadruple board certified in psychiatry, with board certification in General adult, Child and adolescent, Addiction, and Forensic, psychiatry. He also has additional training in public psychiatry, in several treatment modalities, in addition to his teaching, supervision, mentorship, coaching, and management, experience. Some of his passions are public speaking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and research, in addition to program development and project management. His overall goal is to empower all health care professionals throughout the United States and globally, towards ensuring the continuity of excellent patient care, while balancing the need to take care of themselves. Dr. Sidor is the main instructor for the SWEET Institute, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also the past-Medical Director for CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and employment Services), and he speaks and writes fluently in six (4) languages—French, English, Spanish, Creole, and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese and Italian.
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Hibbard JH, Stockard J, Tusler M. (2005.) Hospital performance reports: Impact on quality, market share, and reputation. DataWatch. July/August 2005.
Burger J., Giger A. Want to increase hospital revenues? Engage your physicians. Gallup Business Journal. June 5, 2014.