Speakers call employees 'final frontier'

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Providers have squeezed every corner of their businesses dry, looking for new efficiencies in a tight reimbursement climate. Now many are turning to their human capital to realize savings, say those delivering human resources-related educational sessions at Medtrade.

"There's only so much companies can cut," said Richard Davis, vice president of HR for Barnes Healthcare. "Where they have to realize savings is through their people."

How to do it? Here's a sneak peek at these speakers' advice:


That's the message Sarah Hanna of ECS Billing & Consulting will convey. She's seen in her own business a sustained 20% boost in productivity from implementing new workplace programs for wellness and personal satisfaction.

"You're not going to be happy unless you take pride in what you do and you take ownership," she said.

Invest in your assets

Your people are assets, and there's nothing impersonal about saying that, insists Erick Allen, CEO of training firm Level 4 Performance.

"An asset is something you employ to return your investment back to you," Allen said. "You want to put a lot into them so they can deliver for your company."

See people as your competitive advantage, Allen says.

"Sometimes the only differentiator you have in the marketplace is customer service or the knowledge of your people," he said. "What (the competition) doesn't have is your people."

Don't overlook the human resources function

Even if you can't afford an HR full-timer, said Davis, put someone in charge of staying on top of the latest employment legislation and provide your managers with extra training, especially those with hiring responsibilities.

Stay positive

Your glum mood with each new CMS announcement isn't helping employee morale, Hanna says.

"When management is stressed, that tends to come out," she said. Be straightforward and honest, she advised, but take a positive approach to preparing for the future.