It’s been a long day at the office and you’re working on your last patient. You take a deep sigh and run the tasks still left to do through your mind: finish up instruments, chart notes, clean and restock operatory for tomorrow, other miscellaneous duties. As you walk your patient up front to be discharged, you notice your co-worker. Let’s name her Elaine. Elaine is busy in the sterilization area finishing up your instruments before she gathers cleaning supplies and heads to your operatory to clean, restock and gather the trash for you. How do you feel about the end of your day now? Earlier in the day, the business assistant was struggling to catch up on a few follow-up calls with insurance companies. Elaine observed, and without hesitation, offers to sit at the front desk, answer the other line and check patients in and out to help her.
Do you work with a helper like Elaine? If not, I’ll be you wish you did!
Elaine truly cares about her work and the people she works with, and she expects nothing in return for her good deeds. By stepping up, she maintained customer service standards for the practice. Elaine also has a knack with engaging the team in helping. As they say, you lead by example, and her coworkers take notice. Eventually she has the office smiling. The more often employees step up and help each other, the higher the operating efficiency and customer satisfaction, which leads to higher revenue. Helping behaviors play an important role in organizational effectiveness.
As an employer, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the helpers you interview and take this into consideration when making a final decision. Caution: As with all personality types, there are also less healthy versions of The Helper. Unhealthy Helpers can sometimes have a give-in-order-to-get mentality and may be manipulative or over-controlling. I’m sure you have worked with unhealthy helpers, too. Keep your antenna up and recognize the difference.
People who are helpers have an advantage in the work place. Because they step up and help in other roles in the office, helpers gain knowledge. Giving = Learning. Helpers gain skills outside of their job description. Tasks that round out their skills foundation in turn catapult them to a higher level in their careers down the road. With advancement comes more responsibility and an increase in income. Healthy helpers are valuable. Elaine relocated and found herself back in the job market seeking employment. As she updated her resume, she realized all the additional skills gained and realized, with confidence, she is of higher value to her next employer. After only two interviews, a job offer came in. Elaine received a pay rate considerably higher than her previous job because she had more skills going into this one than she did the last.
In many work environments, The Helpers is taken for granted. Take a look around you. If you work with a Helper, remember to say “PLEASE” and “THANK YOU!”
For more information about helpers, check out the links below.
Book Recommendation: Give and Take by Adam Grant