Erick Allen: Think strategically about employees

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of Q&As with speakers at Medtrade that will appear in the HME Newswire leading up to the show, Nov. 16-18 at the Georgia World Congress Center.

ATLANTA - If your company's training program is going to work, there must be buy-in from all levels, including top management. Yet, it's often the case that work force performance isn't a focus of organizations and improvement through training isn't a core competency. Erick Allen argues that companies that don't better their work force are thinking short-term instead of long-term--tactically instead of strategically. During his session at Medtrade, "10 Steps to Building a Successful Work Force Performance," he hopes to give managers solid concepts that they can use to make their workforce more productive.

HME News: Is workforce performance something that HME providers tend to overlook?

Erick Allen: Absolutely, because it is not the core. They don't really leverage their employees, because they don't think in terms of managing workforce performance. They're very immediate: What does someone have to do to meet this task? They're not very strategic.

HME: What are the consequences of overlooking it?

Allen: The consequence is what the industry suffers from now--over-training and under preparing. They have trainings for this, trainings for that, but none of it is done in a relevant and performance-delivered model so people actually know what to do with the information they get.

HME: Where do HME providers fall short in performance initiatives?

Allen: They ignore it and leave it to others. It's kind of writing your business plan: There's no one better to write your plan than you.

HME: Where do they excel?

Allen: They care. You cannot find a more caring and compassionate group of people--they really want to do well. It is one of the most amazing groups of entrepreneurs you'll ever see.

HME: How should providers introduce performance initiatives to their workforce?

Allen: Patiently. Gain commitment for the strategy, gain buy-in for the strategy, and then slowly execute.

HME: What's one thing providers should take away from your session?

Allen: A lot of people are afraid of training initiatives because they do not understand them. They think training is one of the most disruptive things in an organization. I agree, but you have to get over the fear of lost productivity. You have to be more strategic.

Speaker: Erick Allen

Title/company: President, Level 4 Performance Inc.

Services provided: Consulting services (human capital)

Session: "10 Steps to Building a Successful Work Force Performance Initiative"

Date: Nov. 18, 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Contact:, 404-474-7790