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Finding and Keeping Quality Employees in a Post-Virus World with Mahmoud Khattab, CEO of Precision MD

Mahmoud Khattab, CEO of Precision MD, recently shared his thoughts regarding the retention of employees to a place of business. With many local businesses and national chains experiencing worker shortages in the wake of the COVID-19 virus, he offers advice to new business owners seeking to attract and retain quality applicants.

Precision MD, located in Elk Grove, California, is a popular medspa that serves Elk Grove and the Sacramento area. Offering services such as laser hair removal, dermal fillers, Botox/Dysport, skin rejuvenation, chemical peels, and body contouring, Khattab’s team brings experience and excellence to the world of aesthetic enhancement. And it all begins and ends with a dedicated, loyal team of employees who derive great satisfaction from what they do and where they work. To cultivate a successful team such as this, Khattab says, takes effort.

““…After you hire new people, you have to train them very well. You have to guide them through the different elements of the business, and you have to follow up with their performance and evaluation on a regular basis …”

And while it sounds easy, Follow-up is a stickler for many business owners who have no problem delegating, but who often lag when it comes to holding employees accountable for their actions or inaction. An effective leader must be able to make course corrections and steer the boat in a different direction when the wind dies down. If standards aren’t being met, it’s up to team leaders, supervisors, or shift managers to notice and to take action. Sometimes, it’s as simple as miscommunication between management and staff, but unless the issue is brought out into the open and addressed, it could be misinterpreted, resulting in hard feelings and low employee morale.

Why Follow-Up Is So Important

Khattab is quick to share the pride he feels in his team at Precision MD, but he claims some of the credit, too, for creating a workplace culture that’s conducive to long-term retention. Khattab feels it begins with the type of employee you hire, and builds from there, and every element matters.

“Their personality, their experience, but also the way that you deal with them. Even if you hire an excellent employee with very good experience, if you don’t manage that employee well, their performance will decline. So, there’s also a responsibility on you, or your general manager … to keep up with management, to keep up with evaluations, to keep up with meetings … on every single employee.”

Employees want to be kept in the loop. They want to feel valued as professionals, and they want clear objectives to work toward. Mutual respect and adequate training are vital components in the employee-friendly workplace, regardless of whether the place in question is a medspa, a hospital, or a manufacturing plant. The need to be needed is a basic human requirement. So is acknowledgement for a job well done.

Tips for Building a Team That Works

Khattab offers these eight tips for building a retention-friendly place of business:

  • Get to know your team. Understand their strengths and weaknesses, and develop a sixth sense for when they’re feeling overwhelmed or undervalued. Know what motivates them, and make sure you see each person as an individual with individual skillsets and needs.
  • Set clear goals and objectives. Make sure everyone understands the roles they’re expected to play. Be clear with your expectations and set standards that are high, yet attainable.
  • Offer timely feedback. If an employee is underperforming or outperforming expectations, be timely with your feedback. Use tools such as performance evaluations and daily or weekly meetings to keep your staff on track and in the know.
  • Celebrate Successes. When things are going well, make sure your team gets the recognition they deserve. Reward employees for going that extra mile, and create a workplace culture that’s positive and upbeat.
  • Re-Examine your own methods on occasion. Understand your own leadership qualities and always seek to improve them. Take a class in business leadership or attend seminars on teambuilding.
  • Be transparent. When you make a mistake, admit it. And exercise compassion when others inadvertently fail. Growing together is a learning process, made easier by honesty and patience.
  • Give your team the tools they need to succeed. Every job is made easier when the right tools are available. Make sure your business has the right technology, that it works the way it should, and that every employee receives adequate training to use it.
  • Provide instruction, but avoid micromanaging. Ensure employees know what to do, then step back and allow them to find the way that works best for them. As long as the end result is ideal, let employees customize the process.

Finding and Keeping Quality Employees in a Post-COVID World

According to Khattab, onboarding quality employees begins in the interview process. This is the first link in the chain of successful management. You must take enough time to have real conversations with applicants, to find out enough about them that you feel confident in bringing them onboard.

“Then you will really be very successful. Everybody has different styles in doing medicine and doing business. So, you have to spend a good time doing the interviews and learning about the candidate before you make a decision and hire them.”

Business owners who take the initiative from day one and maintain the momentum will have little trouble keeping their turnover rates at all-time lows, even in a post-virus world. Precision MD, in Elk Grove, California, is a prime example.

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