ARTHUR BENJAMIN – DISCOVERING ONE SECRET
Today, I’d like to touch on a topic far from the realm of science.
I don’t like to brag, but I often hear from patients, “Doctor, your employees always smiling, warm-hearted, and at the same time very knowledgeable. What’s the secret?”
I answer that even the most pristine office, without the right people, is just a pile of metal. The basis of a successful practice isn’t the newest laser technology or diagnostic systems, which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. It isn’t the microscopes or smart machines. Furthermore, not even a good doctor is enough. Our people and our team are an extension of our families; this is what it comes down to. On my team, the average level of experience is 6 years, but there are some who have been with us for 20. And although some younger staff members leave to move on in their careers, a strong backbone remains.
On Sunday night, you always overhear, “Oh my gosh, the weekend is almost over…. Another Monday is on its way”. I do everything to make sure that our people do not feel this way. They know there are kind, friendly coworkers waiting for them every Monday, and many interesting things to do.
But what is the secret, in less general terms? The tone is set from above. And what makes a team of professionals? It isn’t just people that are well put-together, with “BEI” written next to their name. Patients notice that the equipment is always cleansed with alcohol, our hands are always washed, and the employees are always friendly. Where do we find people like this? The secret is simple and everyone knows it. Or maybe almost everyone and they pretend to forget.
In order for people to love their work and happily show up every Monday, you have to give them the possibility of growth. This includes the chance to build upon their skills and get paid well for doing it. But even that isn’t enough. It’s necessary to create a standard for working conditions.
Many of our female employees have families and children. We try to organize everything so that they have enough time to spend with their parents (whom they may take care of), and their children, who from time to time need to have some fun. To keep things going smoothly, workers need to feel confident and calm.
That’s why, when you come into our office, you sometimes don’t see the person that you’re used to. In addition to good pay, we have other benefits, as well. We are one of the few practices in the city that provide our employees with medical insurance.
If someone at work worries about their own health how can they possibly concern themselves with the well-being of our patients? Therefore, we have a pension plan, as well, into which we actively invest money.
SO IS THAT THE WHOLE SECRET?
No, there is more. Twice a year, our people go to conferences and interact with colleagues. Everyone has their own level – doctors with doctors, tech staff with other tech staff. They listen to lectures from experts and learn from experience. All this requires investment. Sometimes, employees are offered jobs with other offices, but they stay here. Why? I’d venture to say it’s because they feel good here.
But now let’s think of something else. Why do we do it? In order for us to have all our ducks in a row, it’s not just about the smartest and most accurate machines. It also has to do with psychology. When a person goes to the doctor, they’re already nervous. So if they see a kind face and feel well taken care of, it becomes easier. Our employees aren’t worried about their health or how to pay their bills. Therefore, they’re thinking about your problems and not their own.
Everything I described is done just for you – the patient. But I don’t want to paint a perfectly idyllic picture. There are times when someone says, “It’s so expensive… they must have crystal chandeliers in there”.
Our unique laser room with microclimate, glasses from the best companies in the world, the knowledge, skills, fantastic technology, and relationships – this is a huge investment. We don’t have chandeliers or empire-style furniture, but there is a thoughtful allocation of resources. Just remember that you only have one set of eyes. They are invaluable and deserve the best care possible.
The secret is that we are focused on the patient and not on ourselves. Everyone wins, though. Come see us, and we will always help in any way that we can, and we are capable of so many things.
( from Interview with Arthur Benjamin by Vadim Avrukin)