This article appears in the October 2020 issue of the
PE GI Journal
Strong workplace relationships lay the groundwork for business to get done
By Ryan Gaymon
I read somewhere that in order to have a good relationship, you must have great social skills. While you might think about your relationships with friends and family when you think about social skills, the workplace is also one of the main spaces where we build relationships. Naturally, coworkers socialize and look forward to spending time with one another while they do their jobs. In many cases, they become your new family—the people you spend a significant portion of your day with.
Strong Relationships Start with Strong Leadership
The growth of good relationships in the workplace is connected to increased employee morale. So, how can we harness our social skills to help build great relationships with our teams? The right leadership is vital to the growth of the team. Companies that invest in their leadership development tend to build stronger organizations compared to those that don’t. Looking at Physicians Endoscopy (PE), we compared our leadership structure to that of another a successful company—Google—and we can see a lot of similarities.
Google’s establishment is overseen by a board of directors, which passes instructions down through an executive management group. This group oversees several departments, such as Engineering, Products, Legal, Finance, and Sales. Each of these departments is divided into smaller units. Physicians Endoscopy is systemized in a similar way—we, too, have a board of directors as our top chain of command that guides our company community. Google gives perks and bonuses to their employees to show their appreciation—at PE, we also have perks and bonuses for employees’ commitment to the company.
Lessons Learned at Physicians Endoscopy
Although we are structured to promote good relationship building, it’s the daily work everyone at PE does that keeps these bonds strong. I have had the pleasure of working at PE now for seven years, and within my time, I was able to advance into several positions all within our CBO department. Starting out as a billing representative at our then-new location in Jamison, I remember when we were a lot smaller and could all fit on one floor. When I started, I was given a tour and introduced to all the departments and department heads. At that time, I was overwhelmed meeting so many people whose names I couldn’t possibly remember, but, in turn, it was a great first step toward building relationships with those I would collaborate with in the future. Since those days, our company has grown more than double in size, so things are done differently now, but that first experience was the start of building strong relationships with my peers.
The importance of building these long-term relationships is just as true with people outside your organization. Often in our daily tasks, we have to outsource to other companies to conduct business. Those relationships are also very important—having a reliable contact can make your job a lot smoother. However, these relationships may take a little more work. Creating strong connections with people outside your organization is always more difficult than with those inside it. Properly introducing yourself and your position is important, just as is applying proper email etiquette, ensuring you use an appropriate tone, and taking part in light personal conversation topics, such as birthdays, vacation and wedding plans, to help the person feel like they know a part of you and trust can be built.
The Benefits of Building Strong Relationships
In my previous work as a representative, I was someone who was on the phone 90% of my day dealing with patients and insurance carriers. I was constantly utilizing the relationships
I had built to complete my daily tasks. In my work as a supervisor, the relationships expanded more to physicians, BOMs, EVPs, directors, and supervisors. Having those strong relationships helped in tackling new projects and issues that came about. During PE’s restructure in 2017, there were a lot of transitions and changing of processes that took place. I strongly believe if it hadn’t been for those resilient relationships I already built, it would have been almost impossible to keep up with the change. I felt I had to rely on every connection I created to get through some of the many challenges we faced.
It was only then that I realized if I hadn’t connected so well and invested the time I did in those relationships, I wouldn’t have been successful. In my work today in payer contracting, I still rely on all of my personal and professional relationships to help get me through. What I’ve learned is we need to focus on building relationships not only with internal coworkers, but also with outside individuals. This will benefit our own personal growth, as well as the growth and perception of our company.
Ryan Gaymon, CBCS, is Contract Coordinator at Physicians Endoscopy (PE). She can be reached at email@example.com.