2014 saw massive change come to the front desk here at DoveLewis. By the end of December we only had three full time Client Service Representatives (CSRs) that had started out at the front desk at the start of 2014; the rest of the team was new and most had been hired within the last six months.
It was a huge change compared to my past seven years of overseeing the front desk; years that had been relatively stable with only a few team members leaving each year and a few new joining us. The reason they departed were the same as in the past — a few were promoted in the organization, a few went back to school to continue their education, and some had major life changes come up. A handful of team members were not the best fit for the work we do at the front desk but regardless of the reason it was a colossal challenge that occurred all in one year.
We interviewed several dozen candidates, and hired and trained 12 full time and part time CSRs over the course of the 2014. The enormous task of training and getting these new CSRs up to speed also occurred during a year of significant growth as we treated more patients than in years past. At times the process was daunting and overwhelming. It seemed that every shift and everyday was spent with a new team member (sometimes two- one during the first five hours or the shifts and the other during the last five hours) explaining, reviewing and showing the many tasks and procedures the CSRs are responsible for, all the while working to provide excellent service in fast paced ER environment.
I am very fortunate that I had support from HR who was able to assist with pre-screens for applications, setting up interviews and many of the administrative tasks performed when bringing on a new team member. I also have a wonderful team lead that was able to handle many of the training duties even though most days each of us had a trainee with us that we were on-boarding. The entire process, which was largely successful, would have been impossible without their help and support. We ended the year with a truly talented, engaged and wonderful team. I believe this is the strongest CSR team across the board that we have ever had at one time at DoveLewis.
The hard work to get everyone up to speed has paid off and it has provided me with opportunities and lessons for growth and reflection on the entire process and year. Here are some of my 2014 reminders and takeaways:
1. Stay positive - the right perspective and attitude will set the correct tone for those around you and will help to make the entire process much more pleasant.
2. Keep focused on your goals - never let the little setbacks (or sometimes major setbacks) steal your focus from what is important and why the effort and hard work are worth it.
3. Always have a plan B - and C and D and E and F… When challenged by setbacks get creative and stay open to all the various ways your goals can be achieved within the confines of the reality before you. Flexibility and creativity are powerful tools that can help improve even the most (seemingly) dire situations.
As I look forward to 2015 I am thrilled to be leaving behind many things from the past year but also grateful for the reminders and opportunities offered, and happy for the experience and the preponderant success, and for the wonderful new CSR team we have constructed here at DoveLewis.