Insights From Our Editors

What Do I Do When My Employees Are Afraid to Work?

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

Oct. 14, 2020

Recent Jobson Optical Research survey findings reveal that some support staff employees are fearful about returning to work. Here is how to allay their fears, so you can bring high-performing staff into your office to serve patients.

As you can see in the chart above, the Wave 15 Jobson Optical research survey shows that 29 percent of staff elected not to come back to work as of September 18-22. That seems like a very high number, yet that number has held fairly constant from the June 19-23 survey to the most recent survey.

Looking deeper as to why staff elected not to come back, the number one reason is “felt unsafe.” Looking deeper still we see that other reasons were “has underlying medical condition” (34 percent) and “lives with someone with an underlying medical condition” (31 percent). In both of these reasons we can see that the respondents did not want to either expose themselves or other people in their house to the risks associated with COVID-19.

It’s important to see the difference between what people think is going to happen and what really happens. According to the Jobson research, 82 percent of practices have not had any doctor or staff member come down with COVID-19.

In other words, the overwhelming majority of practices have opened (or remained open) through the pandemic and have not had any doctor or staff member contract COVID-19. That’s great news. That’s news that should be shared with doctors and staff.

One of the reasons that 82 percent of practices have not had any doctor or staff member come down with COVID-19 is that 98 percent of practices have been able to acquire all the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed. It’s not enough to just have the appropriate PPE, there must be ongoing training on how to appropriately use the PPE as well as monitoring of doctors and staff to make sure they are actually using the PPE correctly. PPE training should include putting on the gear, wearing the gear and taking off the gear. It should also include what to do at work and what to do at home.

Ongoing education and open communication should be the rule in practices as we move through this pandemic. The more people know, the better decisions people will make. The Wave 15 Jobson Optical research survey gives us helpful information we can use in our communications with doctors and staff.

Our shared goal is to keep our patients, staff and doctors safe while we provide the needed care that improves people’s lives.

>>Click HERE to download the latest survey findings about the impact of COVID-19>>

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