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Christmas Bonuses And Drug Rehab

According to many reports, Christmas Bonuses are actually up this year.  Many companies are trying to increase staff morale after a year of dismal economic news.  Many employers have milked the bad economy for all its worth.  Many employers are using the bad economic times as an excuse to cut pay, reduce Christmas bonuses, and reduce overall staff positions.  The problem is that many employees of companies can see right through this charade and are upset that they are being lied to by upper management about how well or how poorly they are doing.

The same is happening in drug rehabs across the United States.  Many drug rehabs that have survived through the economy have done better this year than any other year, yet owners of drug rehabs and upper management have decided to shortchange many of their employees and try to use the bad economy excuse one last time before the economy turns around.  The biggest problem with owners doing this is that, like children, when they are laid to they instinctively know it, and it effects job performance across the board.  If a company does not offer incentives throughout the year or bonuses, then often the Christmas bonus is considered, not just a little extra money to help them through the holiday season, but an incentive and performance based bonus that indicates their worth to the company in the last year.

Incentives for employees are great motivators and great for morale, but when a company promises incentives and pay raises, and consistently tells its employees that when the company does well you will do well, and then the company does do well and employees receive less compensation then the year before, well it’s a recipe for disaster, especially in the drug rehab business.  Clients don’t like being lied to and neither do staff.  There is no better way to destroy a drug rehab then make your employees who take care of your clients feel depressed, economically unsure,  and unappreciated.

I have seen many, many drug rehabs destroyed (slowly at first, then suddenly) because managers, owners, or new owners of drug rehabs, mismanage their employees.  The most successful drug rehab I’ve ever seen was one a long time ago that treated its employees with bonuses and incentives and was very generous with its employees, some would say overly generous, but the end result was that the owner of that drug rehab sold it for millions and his attitude towards his employees, despite the backlash he received for being so generous, paid off tremendously.  His generosity spilled over into the treatment center and in to the client’s care.  Making it at the time, one of the best drug rehabs ever.  Unfortunately, when the company was sold, the new company that took over management systematically destroyed the drug rehab as it let one staff member after the next leave without a fight.  The repercussions of choices made today about employees in drug rehab often do not fully take effect until after considerable time.  A drug rehab may loose one key employee at first and not feel like anything has changed, but then gradually, slowly, and methodically, it starts a time bomb that will not explode for some time, but will never-the-less explode, leaving many drug rehab owners and managers wondering what happened to their once successful drug rehab.

The point is this- drug rehab, unlike many other companies that sell products, are made up of employees who interact with clients and parents of clients, and ARE THE PRODUCT.   The staff of a drug rehab is the product that is being sold ultimately to clients and what’s worse is that if you have a malfunctioning product, then customers are not happy.

It’s tricky for owners of drug rehabs and managers like me to keep a drug rehab staff happy.  Over the year I have found that a little incentive can go a long way in the drug rehab business. But, a warning to all other managers and drug rehab owners out there! Be careful how you treat your staff no matter how useless they may seem at the time. If there is one thing I have noticed over the years in management is that oftentimes owners of companies miscalculate the value of certain staff members.  Know who your key staffs are and which staff members have the most influence over staff morale, because one unhappy employee could affect the whole lot including the clients.  It’s better to share and be generous in the long run then go the route of many drug rehabs have gone in the past that are struggling now.

Mental illness flares for some patients in rehab.(Addiction Psychiatry): An article from: Clinical Psychiatry News
This digital document is an article from Clinical Psychiatry News, published by Thomson Gale on September 1, 2005. The l… More >>

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