3 Touch Points to Better Engage a Multi-Generational Workforce | MedHQ Blog

3 Touch Points to Better Engage a Multi-Generational Workforce

As average retirement age climbs with the health, vitality and economic necessity of the Baby Boomer generation today, many ASC leaders are challenged to manage a workforce that includes employees age 18 to 80. Motivating workers across a multi-generations – including Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, each with distinct attitudes about work and career – takes finesse, and a solid understanding of differing experiences and expectations.

“Getting the best from an age-diverse workforce means finding ways to engage each employee in a way that is meaningful,” says Tom Jacobs, MedHQ’s Chief Executive Officer.  “Managed well, a multi-generational workforce can infuse an organization with the wisdom of experience and the energy of new ideas, to achieve more success than would ever be possible with a homogeneous workforce.”

‘Managing well’ is the challenge, however. While employees of any age want to be engaged at work and to enjoy success against specific career goals, research suggests real differences in the concerns and needs, learning styles and life goals of employees from different generational groups. To help ASC leaders optimize productivity from today’s multi-generational workforce, MedHQ advises a shift in management mindset from ‘boss’ to ‘coach,’ and offers three touch points to guide effective leadership.

Diversify Training

Many studies point to differing preferences for training across generational groups. One such report, “Tapping into Talent,” published by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), suggests Millennials and Generation X preferring independent, online training resources, while Baby Boomers and Veterans prefer more traditional classrooms and books. In an ASC environment, using a mix of both training approaches can help improve the capabilities of individuals while strengthening teams, creating an environment of continuous learning, initiative, and innovation.

Jacobs says MedHQ’s own research underscores the importance of changing the conversation about goals for training, especially when it comes to Millennials (but increasingly for Boomers working hard to stay current, too) to focus on ongoing development rather than a more static approach geared toward job satisfaction.

“Every employee is different, so one goal of training should be to identify and develop those differences, to enable the full potential of each employee,” Jacobs says. “There are generational differences in the way people learn best, but in general, training that takes people a bit outside their comfort zones and helps them stretch makes workers feel engaged and supported in their growth.”

Accommodate Work/Life Styles

Millennials’ penchant for workplace flexibility, work/life balance and career growth opportunities, even over financial rewards, is well documented. But when it comes to managing an effective multi-generational workforce, these kinds of cultural “perks” can help engage workers of any age. According to Jacobs, shifting the conversation from being concerned with an employee’s job or career to one of concern about their whole life is an effective way to coach Millennials, and appeals to other players in the workforce as well.

“If we can overcome our unconscious bias about age; if we can stop thinking of Millennials as ‘tech-obsessed,’ or of older workers as ‘stuck in their ways,’” we take big strides toward an effective, multi-generational workforce,” Jacobs says. “The key is to create a culture for all that encourages workers to be themselves, and helps them feel valued and challenged, trusted to pursue both organizational and personal goals, with freedom to experiment, fail, and grow.”

Rethink Performance Management

Traditional performance management systems, centered on a set of pre-determined goals and an annual review, are less effective with a multi-generational workforce. Instead, companies like GE, Adobe, Accenture, IBM have found that moving to an approach focused on real-time feedback is more motivational and in tune with employee’s needs in today’s world.

For ASC leaders, Jacobs says rethinking performance management may mean seeing each employee as an individual, and encouraging ongoing dialog about how he or she is doing in roles that fulfill the ASC’s mission. Empowering functional managers to coach each individual on both personal and organizational objectives can bring more focus to the areas of contribution each employee enjoys most, and result in the best use of their strengths.

For more information about MedHQ’s business services to guide ASC human resources policies, procedures and programs, click here.

Developing Top ASC Talent | MedHQ Blog

For ASC Leaders, Developing Top Talent Pays: Cost-Savings, Efficiency, and Marketing Benefits

Identifying and providing constructive career development opportunities for your ASC’s top performing employees can be one of the most cost-efficient ways to ensure success for your organization in today’s complex healthcare environment. Cultivating the “A” players on your team is a key strategy to help meet staffing goals, improve employee communication and knowledge sharing, and bolster your ASC’s image in the marketplace.

“Every HR professional understands the importance of keeping employees challenged and growing,” says Tom Jacobs, CEO of MedHQ, “but having a focused, purpose-driven strategy and program for developing your best performers is a powerful driver of several of an ASC’s most important business metrics.”

Jacobs outlines four key business advantages to such a strategy:

  • Retention & Succession: While most ASC leaders understand the need to retain top talent, the “how” is more difficult. Providing visible and specific career development opportunities helps top performers stay motivated, and encourages them to look within the organization when they need a change or a new challenge – rather than elsewhere, creating succession planning options.
  • Cost Savings: Improving the effectiveness and satisfaction of your ASC’s top performers also can result in significant savings, both on the hard costs of turnover, and on associated “under the radar” expenses like the loss of company knowledge, disruption of customer service, and reduced morale and engagement among remaining employees.
  • Closing Skill & Role Gaps: As the demands of leadership in healthcare become more complex, competency gaps are more common. Nurturing top talent is one way to create a culture and process that enables qualified employees to find roles best suited to them, filling the gaps without the more extensive costs associated with hiring, training, and onboarding outside hires.
  • Brand Building/Recruiting: An effective career development initiative creates a positive buzz for an ASC in the marketplace that can help recruit new talent as well, leveraging happy, challenged employees as brand ambassadors.

So how do you go about implementing a strong program for developing “A” Players? Jacobs suggests working with them on four career development fronts:

  • Education: Many researchers have uncovered the Millennial generation’s penchant for quality training. ASCs can support top talent with personalized investments in the learning they care about – such as technical or management classes, or even attendance at industry conferences – filling skills gaps for the individuals and the organization at the same time.
  • Job Scope: Expanding their responsibilities within their function is another way to challenge your “A” players, growing their capacity as leaders.
  • Increased Breadth: Or, challenging your “A” player beyond their function is a great way to increase their knowledge of the ASC’s business overall, and to introduce them to experts across the organization.
  • Mentoring: Pairing top performers with senior leaders as mentors exposes them to the roles you eventually want them to grow into, and opens doors to the relationships they’ll need to get there. The process can be helpful to the leaders as well, keeping them in touch with the ideas and energy of the ASCs top talent.


Click here to learn more about MedHQ’s HR strategies designed to drive ASC success.

Becker's ASC | MedHQ

MedHQ Attending Becker’s ASC 24th Annual Meeting

MedHQ will be among the exhibitors at Becker’s ASC 24th Annual Meeting: The Business and Operations of ASCs, set for October 26th through the 28th, 2017 at Swissôtel, Chicago. This exclusive meeting brings together surgeons, physician leaders, administrators and ASC business and clinical leaders to discuss how to improve your ASC and its bottom line, how to manage challenging clinical, business and financial issues and more.

“This is an important show for our industry and we’re pleased to be participating again this year,” says MedHQ CEO Tom Jacobs. “We welcome the opportunity to make new connections and talk to ASC leaders about the issues they’re facing and how we can help.”

MedHQ is the leading provider of HR, accounting, and back-office administrative services focused specifically on the ambulatory surgery center market.

Are you headed to this year’s show? Stop by Booth #11T and say hello to Tom and the MedHQ team including David Becker, CFO, Ed Gorz, Accounting Director, Laura Gifford, Medical Staff Consultant, and Chris Schukies, HR Services.

MedHQ Accounting Guide | MedHQ

New Guide by MedHQ Leverages Healthcare-Savvy Accounting to Save Money

When it comes to financial services, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) need to ensure the trust they put in their financial services company is based on financial reports that are timely, thorough, and accurate. To assist with that effort, a new guide from MedHQ titled, Leveraging Healthcare-Savvy Accounting to Improve Decision-Making & Save Money, outlines how MedHQ is uniquely able to support ASCs.

Launched in 2003, MedHQ assists ASCs with improving revenue, lowering costs, and taking time-consuming tasks off the plates of administrators, allowing them to focus on the high-value priorities of running and managing surgery centers. The company added finance and accounting business services to its core human resources offering just a year later, recognizing the need for specialized financial expertise in the ASC market.

“We understand the healthcare revenue cycle and apply that knowledge to offer financials that become critical decision-making tools for ASC managers and administrators,” says Tom Jacobs, CEO at MedHQ. “Our Client Accounting Services team has decades of experience in healthcare, which makes it possible for us to tailor services to each client’s specific needs, and to act as trusted advisors. The bottom line – our clients have confidence in us because we help them maximize business performance.”

MedHQ’s Chief Financial Officer, David Becker, works with ASCs nationwide to provide the business insight they need, so organizations can keep their focus on their patients. He mentions, “Our deep knowledge of the finance side of healthcare helps us earn trust with ASC administrators. In addition to providing standard financial reports, we draw their attention to things they need to know, and to help them stay on top of key metrics they might not otherwise track. We help reduce their risk, and save them money several ways: avoiding expensive errors, discovering cost-saving opportunities, and improving efficiency.”

Becker and the accounting team at MedHQ not only use their expertise, but technology-enabled solutions as well. Through their cloud-based partner, Sage Intacct, MedHQ provides clients with this accounting system which gives MedHQ accountants visibility into all clients in one place, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, maximizing their efficiency.

ASC leadership interested in more tips and recommendations for leveraging accurate, insightful financial reporting and counsel can download the full white paper here.

Millions of People Potentially Affected in Equifax Data Breach

A recent news story regarding a cyber-attack on one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States, Equifax, had our office buzzing. MedHQ has partnered with our benefits broker of record, Hylant, to provide timely information for you and your employees.

Overview of the breach

The breach in security occurred between mid-May and July of 2017, and is considered the largest to date. It’s so severe, in fact, that it’s likely anyone with a credit report was affected. According to Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of National Cyber Security Alliance, “Everyone should assume that their data may have been lost in this breach.”

To assist concerned individuals, Equifax created a website to help individuals determine if any of their personal information was stolen. If you have been impacted by the breach, it’s recommended to engage in a credit freeze.

If your ASC needs assistance with human resources, please contact us.

The content of this News Brief is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.


Expert HR Decisions can have Significant Impact on ASC's Financial Performance | MedHQ

Expert HR Decisions can have Significant Impact on ASC’s Financial Performance

While ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) are always looking for ways to save money, they sometimes fail to aggressively pursue cost savings tied to Human Resources. MedHQ CEO Tom Jacobs made this assertion in a recent article in ASCA Focus Magazine, adding that introducing improvements to such things as staffing, scheduling and employee benefits can greatly reduce an ASC’s HR expenses.

“HR is an everyday, ongoing process,” Jacobs said in the article. “You certainly want to try to save money when you buy new capital equipment, for example, but that is a one-off purchase. When you can bring about improvements to HR, you will likely realize more savings over time.”

Jacobs explained that all decisions that impact employees should be rooted in an understanding of employment law compliance, and suggested that some of the most appropriate, effective ways to save money are often less obvious. He said when making choices about different HR services, ASCs would be wise to do their due diligence or even consider bringing in outside expertise for assistance.

“If you are considering offering a 401(k)-retirement plan, research your options,” he counseled. “An HR practitioner schooled in benefits and retirement plans should be able to get a good product that delivers solid, long-term returns.”

In addition, Jacobs said some of the most substantial HR cost savings efforts are not as easily measured. “We preach a lot about saving money on unemployment claims costs,” he said. “When you can keep turnover low and staff satisfaction high, people will work really well together. That leads to lower labor hours per case, and lowers cost per case.”

To help gain the financial benefits of strong HR decision-making, Jacobs underscores the importance of seasoned HR experience in ASC leadership. “An ASCs costs can greatly increase or decrease depending upon how an ASC performs in the many areas of HR,” he concludes. “Being an HR practitioner is a long-term commitment to a field of study. It takes a significant amount of in-depth knowledge to do this work really well.”

To read the full text of the ASCA Focus article, click here. To connect, tweet us.

Effective Communication Helps Employees Make Good Open Enrollment Choices

While surgery center management teams typically pay careful attention to the financial ins-and-outs of employee benefits, mid- and line-level employees are often too busy to think much about benefits, and may find making important decisions about benefits to be an annual exercise in confusion or even frustration when Open Enrollment season rolls around.

MedHQ’s CEO Tom Jacobs says Human Resources professionals who communicate well with employees — who help them understand the unfamiliar language and concepts of benefits offerings — ease the way through Open Enrollment and help employees make better choices for themselves and their families. Preventing confusion helps refocus employees on the positives of the benefits they’re offered through their employer.

“There are a number of communications tactics that help prepare employees for Open Enrollment season,” Jacobs says, “from getting an early start, to providing clear summary materials that help employees see the big picture before they start making choices. I’m a big proponent of one-to-one interviews during open enrollment as well. If employees can get their specific questions answered, they’ll make better decisions.”

Following are a few additional tips for starting the conversation, explaining key terms, and educating employees to help them make good benefits choices:

  • Frame up key questions: Beyond the standard question-and-answer document specific to your company’s benefits, it is often helpful to prompt employees with questions about their own lives so they consider any health and relationship changes before making their open enrollment selections.
  • Summarize government policy changes impacting choices: with all the information swirling about the Affordable Care Act, many people are confused. Open Enrollment season is a great time to help employees understand how policies affect them.
  • Outline changes to your company’s offerings: are there new benefits being offered, shifts in shared costs, or new options for employee-paid offerings? For example, today’s financial reality for many means opting for a high deductible plan. Clearly delineating what’s different helps employees understand both costs and benefits.

For companies with calendar-year benefit plans, Open Enrollment often takes place over in November. The time is now for HR professionals to get ahead of employee questions with carefully planned communications. For more information on effectively managing Open Enrollment season, contact MedHQ.  

If your company is interested in learning how MedHQ can assist your ASC with HR services, request an evaluation.

From Boss to Coach: Changing the Millennial Conversation | MedHQ

Moving from Boss to Coach: Learn More about Managing Millennials

As social security retirement age is moving to 67 years old, it is becoming commonplace to have three generations of workers in a single surgery center.

The cost of recruiting, training, and hiring employees is substantial, so once you have hired a talented team, it’s important to focus on retention. The management and retention tactics that may have worked well for baby boomers or gen X, need to be revisited for millennials.

Researchers have suggested several reasons as to why millennials leave their job: they find the company purpose lacking, or they feel their development is not supported, or, simply, they feel they want to do something else with their life.

Supervisors need help navigating complex issues and events. Whether they are related to something as technically complex as a return to work/fitness for duty case, or handling tardiness, resolving employee disputes, general day-to-day equal treatment of co-workers, or dozens of other HR-related issues. A supervisor is watched at all times by his or her direct reports. As the baby boomers retire and the millennials become leaders in the workforce, supervisors need to understand how to effectively lead and manage in the years ahead.

The expectations of a large cohort of workers are often very different than the expectations of people of older generations. And leadership – beginning with the first line supervisor – must also be ready to adapt, and will need to know how to manage the expectations of the various age groups.

Leaders must understand how the workforce may be changing, and adapt to meet those needs. For example, changing the conversation…

From Boss to Coach: Changing the Millennial Conversation | MedHQ

Image adapted from http://kenstibler.com/

To learn more about how to change the millennial conversation, connect with us.

New Hire | MedHQ

MedHQ Adds Human Resources Director

Caitlin Scarpelli recently joined MedHQ as Director of Human Resources, bringing a progressive track record in the human resources (HR) arena and consulting industry to the growing team of MedHQ consultants.

“We are pleased to add Caitlin to our team and look forward to the significant contributions she’ll make, enhancing our ability to serve our ambulatory surgery center clients with excellence,” said MedHQ CEO Tom Jacobs.

A leading provider of human resources, accounting, and back-office administrative services focused specifically on the ASC market, MedHQ helps centers improve revenue, lower costs, and take time-consuming tasks off the plates of administrators, allowing them to focus on the high-value priorities of running and managing surgery centers.

In her new role, Scarpelli will manage the administration of human resources policies, procedures, and programs for MedHQ client organizations. She will work with client leadership teams to leverage best practices and develop HR processes and strategies customized to fit their unique cultures.

Prior to joining MedHQ, Scarpelli was an HR Senior Specialist at Protiviti, a global consulting firm. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, with a double major in Human Resources and Economics from Elmhurst College. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys working out, spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and she is also an avid music lover.

Navigating the OR Nursing Shortage | MedHQ

Navigating the OR Nursing Shortage

Our colleagues at Regent Surgical Health recently posted an article featuring CEO Tom Jacobs, and his take on a recent study that predicts a significant shortfall of nursing professionals by 2020. The study, Nursing: Supply and Demand through 2020, reveals that the U.S. economy will create 1.6 million job openings for nurses through 2020. Of the 1.6 million job openings, 700,000 will be newly-created opportunities, while 880,000 will result from retirements. “This shortfall impacts both hospitals and the operating rooms (ORs) of ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) all over the country, and is a growing concern for our clients,” notes Jacobs. He offers three strategies for healthcare organizations looking to preempt the problem including paying for relocation expenses and investing in culture.

Interested in reading more?  Click here to read the original article, MedHQ Helps ASCs Navigate Through OR Nursing Shortage, and click here to view the new placement via Regent.

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