When you develop employees, you must invest in their skills. If you want to speed up the time to effectiveness, you must be intentional to develop employees. My guest today is Tyler Convey, CEO of MDstaffers. His company was ranked #49 in the 2019 Inc 5000 list. We talk about how to develop employees. Tyler shares some mistakes he has made as a leader that you can learn from. Now is the time to be proactive to develop employees so they can help you drive the business forward.
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Tyler Convey: The Transcript
Target Audience: Tyler leads MDstaffers’ company strategy and vision and is committed to making MDstaffers the premier physician staffing source in the nation. Tyler is a seasoned executive manager and leader with more than 20 years in the staffing, healthcare, and consulting industries. He is a former owner of a national healthcare staffing agency, which became one of the fastest-growing healthcare staffing companies in the nation.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
Those people who really embrace a culture that we have and what we’re teaching and who can become our future leaders who are going to be that excellent leader for our next generation with growth that we’re having. We’re always on the lookout for our next group of leaders.
[00:00:20].970] – Intro
Welcome to Growth Think Tank. This is the one and only place where you will get insight from the founders and the CEOs. The fastest growing privately held companies. I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow.
[00:00:37].420] – Gene Hammett
Today we’re talking about developing employees. Specifically how do you develop them so that they have a high productivity as quickly as possible inside your company developing employees takes a lot of intentionality it takes understanding human nature it takes a putting the right systems in place developing employees is our job as leaders. Now today we have a very special guest. His name is Tyler Covey. He is the CEO of MDStaffers. This company has grown at an astronomical pace. They were on the INC list in 2019 at 49. A little tongue tied there. They had over 5000 percent increase over the three year period and that was over seven million dollars in revenue.
[00:01:19].800] – Gene Hammett
They’ve continued to grow today and they’ve continued to create the systems that will allow them to reduce the time for someone to be productive. They may come in with some skills but they have certain processes they have things that they develop to really create this and systematized new people coming on board and they’re really that’s one of the reasons why they’re growing so fast. So we’re gonna be talking about you know what are the key factors of coaching and nurturing your employees. We’re really is all about developing those employees.
[00:01:49].710] – Gene Hammett
Thanks for tuning in here to growth think tank. Really excited about sharing this with you. And before you run I have done so many interviews in the last few weeks. I have such a exciting time to share with you that those interviews have been organized into the 12 core principles of fast growth companies. So all you have to do we get that it’s go to GeneHammett/worksheet so you can get the 12 Principles and I’ve been able to go in there and find which episodes will align to each individual episode will you subscribe to growth think tank you will find exactly what you need so that you can move forward and many of them haven’t been published yet. Depending on when you’re hearing this but you can you can tune in to the date. That means the most to you. Here’s the interview with Tyler.
[00:02:33].510] – Gene Hammett
Hi Tyler, How are you?
[00:02:34].970] – Tyler Covey
I am outstanding. Thank you.
[00:02:36].910] – Gene Hammett
We’re excited to have you here on growth think tank to talk about fast growth in your company.
[00:02:44].030] – Tyler Covey
Thank you. I’m very excited to be here as well.
[00:02:46].660] – Gene Hammett
Tell us a little bit about MDStaffers.
[00:02:51].020] – Tyler Covey
Sure. MDStaffers is a physician and advanced practitioner staffing company so we provide both temporary and permanent physicians and advanced practitioners to hospitals health care facilities and government agencies throughout the country we started in Sacramento California and recently opened an office in the D.C. metro area to help us service our plants on the East Coast. But we experienced some tremendous growth over the last four years since I took over the company. In 2013 we had eight staff and today we have 24. So we’ve really ramped up the number of staff. And with that we ordered that fastest growing company in the nation and the fastest growing physician staffing company image.
[00:03:45].380] – Gene Hammett
Well you’re in good company. Everyone here on the show is growing really fast. The top 500 we highlight. And we’re going to talk about the leadership and culture that drives growth. So Tyler we talked last week a little bit about you know kind of the way you see business in the saying see employees you believe in and really nurturing these employees and coaching them why is that important.
[00:04:10].470] – Tyler Covey
I think it’s critical for for a number of reasons. You know the main premise that we operate on is that. Employee knowledge is not a static thing. We think that intelligence ability and performance can continuously be improved. And so by end of that we find that listening supporting encouraging and training staff is just critical. And it really shows our commitment to the staff to to their development to their ongoing growth to their success. And it really helps the staff to master not only their position but it helps them to understand their fit within the overall objectives of the organization.
[00:04:58].960] – Tyler Covey
And we think that’s really critical. And our coaching and mentoring process really helps them to understand the culture. We would try to help them identify how maybe their attitudes and actions are not serving them well. But on the flip side you know this program and our approach we think really helps us to identify those people who really embrace the culture that we have and what we’re teaching and who can become our future leaders who are going to be that excellent leader for our next generation. With the growth that we’re having we’re always on the lookout for our next group of leaders.
[00:05:45].940] – Gene Hammett
Well I think a lot of companies struggle with developing the next level of leaders because you know as the company grows things change the markets change and everything is in flux. But having people that you can really depend on and you’ve created that through the coaching process tell us just a little bit about what you disk drive is coaching inside your company.
[00:06:12].190] – Tyler Covey
Sure. Well we start really on day one when folks come in. We’ve developed what we call the M.D. staffers Institute of training and that’s a very prescriptive process that starts with two weeks of intensive classroom training. And we also allow time to have some individual time to process and practice what they’ve learned in that training. But beyond the training as soon as they’re done with the two week intensive training then they’re assigned that mentor. So they have an individual person who they can speak with and ask the silly questions or questions they may think or silly somebody that they can really connect with and help guide them through the initial phase.
[00:06:57].990] – Tyler Covey
Beyond that they’re also assigned to a team and within that team they may break out into smaller cohorts of partners. So you’ll have three partners that get together on a weekly basis and discuss issues and they come up with resolutions and then those teams come back. Are those partners excuse may come back to the larger team or division along with all of the other partner groups and they share the knowledge that they’ve learned they discuss it further and in some cases codify the solution on the resolution to the tension challenge or or issue that they’re having.
[00:07:38].880] – Tyler Covey
And then beyond that on a monthly basis we have what we call advanced training. So it’s there as long as they’re meeting certain objectives within their division then they’re eligible to participate in the advanced training. And let me tell you everybody wants to participate in the advanced training. We have experts within the organization develop the training based upon specific areas that we feel like growth is needed that everybody can benefit from. It’s really to help them understand their positions at a more advanced level and we garner input from various subject matter experts and people work really hard to meet their objectives so that they’re able to participate in this advanced training and then beyond that once a month. We have company meetings and these company meetings are a place where we can get together and talk about how each division’s objectives and performance really tie into the overall corporate objectives. We talk a lot about our our vision and our our mission and our core values. We think that everybody should be able to recite those to you verbatim at a moment’s notice because we talked about an awful lot.
[00:08:57].860] – Tyler Covey
We want to keep everybody focused on how their individual performance and job contributes to the overall success and mission and vision of the organization but then just stepping back a little bit. Going back to the individual when they start with us they get individual evaluations at 30 60 90 hundred and eighty and then on an annual basis after that. So we want them to have individual meetings with their supervisors to go over their individual performance which we’ve tied back to scorecards which the scorecards roll up and to the division goals which also roll up into the company.
[00:09:37].990] – Gene Hammett
Well that’s a fairly complex system. All people would say with 25 employees. That’s that might be overkill. But I imagine you guys have found having these rituals really do benefit in developing the employees. Tell us a little bit more about that.
[00:09:55].040] – Tyler Covey
Well, our employees are the most important thing that we have and and our industry. We’ve heard figures as high as 400 percent turnover within the industry because it tends to be a very sales see very numbers oriented people sometimes called the tournament Burnham approach. And we certainly do not subscribe to that. We spend a lot of time with our folks to help them understand their role and their job so that they can be excellent at what they do so that when they’re talking with a physician or an advanced practitioner they’re experts and and helping that person find a job not only from the job requirements to the needs and desires of the client to the geographic area that they might be looking at. So to have turnover within our company is just so detrimental that we find that by showing that by investing in our people that they stick around and then they’re. Better able to do an excellent job for our physicians and our clients.
[00:11:08].610] – Commercial
Now hold on for a second. If you caught that but Tyler said the industry average turnover rate is 400 percent. Now you probably know the numbers behind your turnover rate. What what is your industry but that is something that is really hard to overcome if you’re accepting that that’s the accepted rate maybe a lot of people are trying to figure that out because of the cost associated with turnover. But what I really like about this is Tyler shares his plan for creating a place where people feel supported they’re growing and they’re developing employees and that’s the key. If you want to reduce your retention rate all you have to do is be really intentional about how to develop new employees and really create systems around that. Now that’s part of the solution. There’s many other pieces to it like onboarding. Also the leadership has a big big deal behind it and also hiring. But I have done many different episodes about retention rates but I just want to make sure that you caught what I heard there about 40 percent and what he’s doing and what he’s talking about in this that interview is really about reducing that and creating more employees that really want to stay for the long haul. Now back to the interview with Tyler.
[00:12:22].050] – Gene Hammett
Tyler I ask a lot of leaders this one question and given the fact that you’ve grown so fast that I kind of know what you would say but I don’t want to assume as a leader what’s the most important thing to you customers are employees?
[00:12:34].890] – Tyler Covey
Well I’d have to say employees because without them I don’t think those customers would come to us and stay with us. We really try to lead by example. We’ve tried to practice what we preach and our customers are extremely important as well. But without our employees we’re not there.
[00:13:03].210] – Gene Hammett
I know people get kind of twisted on this this question is not meant to trip you up but it’s meant to the company must put the employee or put the customers first. But the the leaders I found in fast growth companies over 94 percent will say its employee first. It’s a little bit of a modern leadership thing. I think behind this and I think you nurturing your employees and putting so much into the development of them is a testament to what you know the actions behind such as words we were talking Tyler about the importance of of hiring the right people so let’s just talk just a little bit about hiring great people what lengths do you go to make sure that you have the right people before they actually go through this training process?
[00:13:50].040] – Tyler Covey
That’s a great question. And we learned from some early mistakes in hiring people who seemed to have the right experience and background to be successful in our organization. What we missed was looking at. Whether or not they were meeting or whether or not they were embracing what our core values are. And so really are hiring process now. And in fact our appraisal process and our firing process we get to that is is all surrounded by our core values which is what we’re looking for people who are coachable. They must be ethical. They must be reliable.
[00:14:35].340] – Tyler Covey
They must be team players. And then with those attributes we think that we can make them effective. So we go through a very extensive hiring process and say we’re pretty slow to hire we’re we’re very choosy and we have to meet with staff at multiple levels within the organization. Marks our first line supervisors to our vice presidents and then they make it through all of that. Then I meet with them as well. I’d like to meet with everybody personally just to get a feel for whether or not I think that they embrace all of the attributes or values that are so important to this organization.
[00:15:15].870] – Commercial
One more second here. Tyler just talked about the importance of hiring people that have the core values of your company. I’ve done many episodes about hiring here on the podcast. But let me just clue you in to a few of the tips behind that you really want to have a clear idea of who the best person is for your company not just their skills but really who is a fit for it and that core values is a very important piece of that understanding how someone aligns with the core values how they add to the culture that is the key the core values are the cornerstone of hiring the right people and you should have questions specifically engineered and developed for those core values and they should be given to all of the people in the site inside the sales process so that they are all getting their own perspective of how well this prospect aligns to the core values. Now I say this because core values just is such an important part of fast growth companies in our culture and leadership and you want to make sure that you start with the right people back to interview with Tyler.
[00:16:23].220] – Gene Hammett
I met with a relative of mine. I won’t say who it is because he’s the former CEO of a publicly traded company and keeps a low profile. But he mentioned having a thousand employees and he said to to the date he would still interview everybody who came in. The only exception he has if they were starting in another country he wouldn’t fly them in just for for that meeting. But if they were I mean he had a lot of these conversations literally in person. So why is it so important as your company grows to continue that process of you meeting them personally.
[00:17:01].240] – Tyler Covey
Well I have not met with every single person person. I have great trust and faith in my team and they’ve done an excellent job in fact a couple of our best people are brightest stars. I didn’t. And so that gives me great comfort but I think it also shows a commitment from our organization to that prospective employee that that they’re so important to our organization that we’re willing to spend a significant amount of time getting to know them interviewing them and meeting with them at every level. So I think it has. Not only does it help me to get to know them before they hit the ground running usually but it also shows that something has a dual benefit.
[00:17:54].240] – Gene Hammett
I don’t get to ask you this and I am doing a little bit of a curve ball here but hirings it’s an important piece to the overall formula of hiring great employees. You mentioned coaching. Is there a question you use inside the interview process that let you know whether someone’s coachable or not.
[00:18:12].180] – Tyler Covey
Well we use the theory that past performance predicts future performance so we try to ask them questions surrounding how they’ve taken instruction how they’ve dealt with feedback how they’ve dealt with negative feedback what negative tests emerge and so. So we like to flesh it out through that but I also try to make it very clear to folks during the interview process that that we’re learning and growing organization and we’re very professional and maybe it’s just because of where I’m at in my career. But I think everybody seems to embrace my my notion that I’m not really interested in managing people.
[00:18:59].830] – Tyler Covey
I don’t want to have to worry about whether they’re on time whether they’re prepared whether they’re focused whether they’re well rested you know that that’s managing people I don’t we don’t want to worry about that. We want to worry about. Higher level things. The mentoring aspects so I always let people know during the interview process that we’re we’re going to coach you and mentor you as much as we can. And on a continuous basis because we believe that we can all continue to improve and get better. But we have to manage you then I’m going to manage you out and encourage you to go to work for my competition because then we know we’ll have a great advantage.
[00:19:38].860] – Gene Hammett
Well I want to ask you a very specific question around this because we talked last week and you have a different approach than what most people do. Everyone says to hire slowly you’ve got that but most people say that you should be fired quickly but you have a really different perspective on that. Tyler what is that perspective and and why is it important.
[00:20:00].560] – Tyler Covey
Well what I shared with you was when we find people who meet our our core values that are coachable they’re ethical reliable and they’re team players then yes we will spend an extra time to help support and train them. But if folks don’t meet those core values we are very quick to get rid of them. That is if we make a mistake we will correct it very quickly. Thankfully we’ve gotten much better in the last year and we haven’t made any mistakes that I can think of. But we made mistakes earlier.
[00:20:43].250] – Tyler Covey
And if they don’t meet those criteria then we’re very very quick to part ways. But if we see in them that they’re embracing our culture and that they’re working well our industry is complex and some people pick up on it a little bit quicker than others and we’ve found that by spending additional time with good people we can turn them into great performers as well. In fact one of the benefits you mentioned are our extensive process for training people. One of the things we we’ve learned in the last year and comparing our groups of hires from the last group to those a couple of years ago a couple of years ago it would take individuals six to 12 months to become really solid performers within the organization.
[00:21:42].890] – Tyler Covey
We would train them and then throw up throw them out there and spend a little bit of time with them. But it wasn’t as focused as it is now. Now with the focus that we’re spending on each individual and in teams and groups we’ve cut that productivity time from six to twelve months down to two to six months. So it’s really paid a lot of dividends for us especially for our clients. Our demand is unrelenting and so we can hire 20 more people today and if they were ready to perform we have to work for them.
[00:22:24].530] – Gene Hammett
Well I appreciate you sure and that’s that with us because I think that really puts it in perspective of why we should be coaching and nurturing our employees is because it pays off getting them getting productive getting them really effective quicker is a really powerful thing inside the culture and inside that you know just the business.
[00:22:44].380] – Tyler Covey
Absolutely. And you know the other benefit something that’s not often spoken about but we’re pulling other high performers within the organization out to provide this mentorship and that’s coaching for these individuals. What we’ve found is that even though their productivity may be slips a little bit their knowledge increases to they they learn from the newer people they learn from the questions they they get reinforcement on some of the great things that they’ve been doing to be successful so sometimes that helps keep them centered focused and engaged as well. So we think overall it’s moving the productivity needle up across the board.
[00:23:32].100] – Gene Hammett
Well I appreciate you sharing some of the expertise and wisdom that you’ve gained over a growing a fast company hopefully others listening in here can use it and if they’re having the trouble of getting people up and going faster this certainly is a good case for that. So Tyler thanks for being here at Growth Think Tank.
[00:23:48].330] – Tyler Covey
My pleasure. Thank you.
[00:23:51].530] – Gene Hammett
Another great episode here at Grow Think Tank developing employees is our job as leaders. We want to create people that are confident and courageous in all of their roles and how they interact with each other. And you must coach them you must nurture them along the process. Hopefully you’ve learned something today in today’s episode with Tyler. I really appreciate them talking about you know really focusing on how do we get someone to be more productive as quickly as possible and moving that from six months to twelve months down to two to six months. Think about the ROI that has is just really strong and you want to have a system that’s repeatable and you can actually continuously improve that if you have a system behind that.
[00:24:33].990] – Gene Hammett
So really appreciate Tyler sharing those ideas and concepts with us here on the podcast. Hopefully you’re enjoying the podcast as much as I enjoy creating it for you. Make sure you refer this to someone that you know wants to be a great leader wants to grow their company fast and and learn from these insights from these amazing leaders. As always lead with courage. We’ll see next time.
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