Insights From Our Editors

How to Identify Your Most Valuable Employees

By Mark Wright, OD, FCOVD,
and Carole Burns, OD, FCOVD

Jan. 26, 2022

Do you know which employees are most valuable, or what we call “over-performers”? The results of an objective analysis may surprise you. Often, those whom you perceive as most productive are not the ones who are actually producing the most for you. Here’s how to find out which employees are most important for you to retain.

Not every team member contributes the same. The reality is a few team members are very productive, more stay busy but are not productive, and a few just need to be replaced. Let’s concentrate today on the most productive team members. These are the staff members you do not want to lose.

First, let’s determine how many of the team are productive members. A British scientist and historian, Derek Price, created Price’s Law.i Price’s Law says 50 percent of the work in a business is done by the square root of the total number of people doing the work. In a practice with 10 team members, three team members are doing 50 percent of the work.

This probably reminds you of the Pareto Principle, which says that 80 percent of the work is done by 20 percent of the total number of people doing the work. Using Price’s Law and the Pareto Principle, here is a chart showing how many of your team are actually doing the majority of the work in your practice.


Second, let’s define work as productive work. Many people major in the minors. They may get distracted or perhaps just do the things they like to do. They may even be keeping busy, but are they doing productive work?

Third, here’s how to determine which team members are your over-performers. Every team member needs to have at least one measurable product goal. The goal is not what they do for the practice, but what they produce for the practice. An example would help here. What is the product for an optician? We believe it is to make sure the patient receives the doctor’s treatment plan.

How can we tell which opticians are over-performers? It starts with a goal. What should the goal be for an optician? If the schedule is designed for seeing three patients per hour, then over an eight-hour work day, an optician has the opportunity to produce 24 completed treatment plans. An average optician should be able to deliver 85 percent of that, which would be 20 completed treatment plans. An excellent optician – an over-performer – should be able to produce at least 22 completed treatment plans per eight-hour work day.

What difference does being able to deliver two more treatment plans per day mean to the practice?:
2 Tx plans/day X 5 days/week X 52 weeks/year X $450/Tx plan = $225,000/year.

The optician delivering two less treatment plans per day may dress better, seem to be a better communicator, always appear busy and a host of other positive things, but measuring objectively, the optician producing a minimum of two more treatment plans per day is a $225,000 over-performer.

So, in a team of 10 people, who are those 2-3 people who are doing between 50-80 percent of the work in your practice?

Now that you’ve identified the over-performers, three major questions arise:
1) What are you doing to keep the over-performers?
2) Have the over-performers written up the keys to their success so you have it for future training to create more over-performers?
3) What are you doing to teach the under-performers how to improve their performance?

References
i. Price’s Law: Why Few People Contribute More – Learn Repeat Academy

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