4 Reasons Ophthalmic Techs Quit

Ophthalmic Technician Quitting

When it comes to techs, is your practice like a revolving door? Turnover is a problem in many eye care practices, but it may not be the real problem, according to Paul Larson, MBA, MMSc, COMT, COE, CPC, CPMA, a presenter at the 2018 ASCRS∙ASOA Annual Meeting. Turnover is a symptom of a bigger problem, he says. And that problem is preventing you from building a stable, experienced team.

4 Big Reasons Your Techs Are Leaving

If your practice isn’t growing, yet you’re always on the lookout for new staff, “you’ve got to look in the mirror a little bit,” says Larson. Confronting the brutal facts about turnover in your practice will help you avoid repeating the same (expensive) hiring and retention mistakes over and over again. Check out these four common reasons why practices can’t hold on to their techs. In our next post, you’ll learn how to remedy them.

Reason #1: The Supervisor

“You might not have a tech problem. You might have a supervisor problem,” explains Larson. A bad supervisor is the number-one reason why employees leave their jobs. This often occurs when practices overlook whether a candidate for a leadership position will be a good cultural fit. It also happens when practices promote from within without ensuring that the promotion is strategic for the practice. Whoever is supervising your techs needs not only tech skills, but also management skills. That’s not always something that’s learned on the job. So if you’re promoting someone to a management position, consider developing them through regular management training and coaching.

Reason #2: No Upward Mobility

If techs don’t clearly see a path for advancement, they’ll be more likely to leave for the next best offer. This doesn’t always mean ‘climbing the ladder,’ notes Larson.  Sometimes it means learning to use a new piece of equipment, or a trip to a conference.

Reason #3: Your Practice Pays Below Market Rate

In today’s market, experienced techs know they have the upper hand. If they feel undervalued at your practice, they’ll go elsewhere. The good news? You don’t have to be the highest paying practice in town, Larson says. Who makes the most money and who is the happiest is not always the same, he explains.

Reason #4: Inconsistent Feedback

“Many people want to be heard more than they want you to agree with them,” observes Sharon Alamalhodaei, a presenter at last year’s SECO conference. Listen to their struggles and identify and remove obstacles. Provide feedback in a kind and professional manner. “Most people don’t mind high expectations; they just want them fair and consistently enforced,” she explains. This is especially true for your high performers.

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