FYidoctors announced the launch of  their “Future Vision Leaders Program”, which will provide up to $100,000 in forgivable, individual loans, to support the next generation of Canadian Optometrists. This new initiative is design to help both new and recent optometry graduates.

This new program comes at a time when efforts to recruit young optometric professionals, particularly in ex-urban and rural areas, have been amplified by virtually all players in the market, including corporate and independent optometry organizations and individual independent practices.

Up to $100K – Selective and Forgivable
“FYidoctors was founded on doctors defining what eye care looks like—both now and in the future,” says company Chair and CEO Dr. Alan Ulsifer. “This includes the vision to bring the highest level of eye care to all regions of Canada, with special appreciation and presence in rural and under-serviced areas. Eyecare and vision is too important to the quality of one’s life to be limited in availability. We are excited about the Future Vision Leaders program to help us fill these important public needs while giving the next generation of optometrists rewarding opportunities.”

FYidoctors will assess applicants on an ad hoc basis and selectively offer 100% forgivable loans of up to $100,000 for new graduates as well as those who have graduated within the last several years. Successful applicants who enter the program will be partnered with clinics in either urban, rural or remote regions, with the aim of bolstering the future of the industry while giving Canadians in those regions better all-around access to eye care.

Apart from the forgivable loan, graduates who enter the program will also receive competitive base rate compensation, optical benefits and access to world-class innovation, leadership and development opportunities, according to the company.

Additionally, individuals could be eligible for guaranteed minimum pay and moving expenses.  “I was a young optometrist when we founded FYidoctors in 2008,” says Dr. Michael Naugle, FYidoctors’ Vice President, Optometric Partnerships, “and I have benefited from our OD-owned and controlled model that allows us to practice to the highest level of care due to our emphasis on technology and advanced eye care. As the largest collegial ownership model, we are always looking for the best optometric talent. This one-of-a-kind program helps serve our collective goals in a way that everyone—especially the health care industry—wins. We are excited for its launch and to congratulate our first cohort of Future Vision Leaders.”

Young ODs wanting more information on the Future Vision Leaders Program are invited to email the company at: Optometryleaders@fyidoctors.com for more details and to initiate a discussion with a program advisor.

 


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While the challenges of of recruiting in eye care were evident in 2019, the last two years have added a whole new dimension to the challenge.

Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, we have seen significant workplace trends develop from an acceptance of remote working, online meetings, flexible work hours to support home schooling and, overall, a new set of rules and worries – for both employers and employees. There has been a lot of learning!

For the past 10 years or longer employers have been told to prepare for the great resignation/retirement wave that was going to hit the workforce with the baby boomers coming up to 60+ years.

The Pandemic Has Empowered Employees
We were starting to experience this back in 2019 but now the pandemic dynamic has accelerated what was already happening – people removing themselves from the workplace.

Workers are quitting their jobs at unprecedented rates. But here’s the thing; what we’re seeing right now isn’t just a generation of baby boomers stepping into retirement. It’s a bigger phenomena.

People who are leaving their jobs aren’t passively surrendering or checking out. People are actively shifting the narrative about what is acceptable (and not acceptable) in jobs and workplaces.

If your star employees have not left yet, they might be “hunkering down” –  biding their time, ready to pounce on new opportunities. Perhaps they will consider starting their own business, buying a franchise or changing industries entirely.

People are embracing their power and helping to reframe how work can and should look and feel.

Time. Space. Growth. Autonomy. Leadership. Wellness.
Work-life integration. Money. Safety. Engagement. Equity.

All of these things are essential to our mutual success. The problem is that employers and employees are not always on the same page about what these things are or ought to be, in policy or practice.

So, what does that mean for the Optometry Clinic and Optical?  Here is a quick checklist of  6 things you can do to make everything work better at your business.

  1. Programmable Recruiting. Consider who you want to attract and then target them. Social media tools allow you to set the demographics you want to reach and target your spend on the best potential candidates not volume of candidates.  Seek Quality – Not Quantity
  2. It’s Not About You. Shift the narrative in your communications with candidates and your team about what it is they can expect to get from you not what you are wanting to get from them.
  3. Know Your People. Understand what your current people want from work. Are you over-extending them with more hours than they want but they are not speaking up? Do you have the opportunity to support up skilling or professional development?
  4. Measure What Matters. Are the roles in your practice where you can provide training and upskilling? If so, put the focus on who they are, then look at what they know and what they have done.
  5. Always be looking. Be an organization that is always on the look-out for great talent to bring to the team. Don’t wait until you need to fill a position. If someone great comes along see how you can make room for them. If not immediately, keep the contact warm.
  6. Build Your Community. We all have a community around us. The people we work with, the people we serve, the suppliers, friends, family and professional contacts. Keep connected. Share what you know and be a valued member of your community. Give first is always the best approach to building relationships.

TIM BRENNAN

is Chief Visionary Officer with Fit First Technologies Inc, the creators of Eyeployment, TalentSorter and Jobtimize.


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We are finally approaching the well-loved and relaxing season of summer. Life seems a bit easier; you can get out the door with less layers t and you don’t have to worry about snow-induced traffic delays. Summer vacations and trips to the cottage are coming.

Of course, when you are running a small business, summer time can also present challenges, specifically around staffing.  Luckily, there are often university students who are currently registered in Optometry School looking for summer work. They are really ideal candidates to hire for the 4 months they are available. They are committed to the industry, they want to learn as much as they can and they are eager to do well.

In our experience, having this additional staff member has more than paid for itself. During the weeks when you are fully staffed, the summer student can tackle jobs that have been on the back burner; organizing the CL trial room, reviewing frame pricing, doing an inventory, price comparisons, the list goes on.

Further, many staff take summer vacations, and with an extra member on your team during this time, you don’t have to go short handed. The reality is, you want your patients who visit in the summer to have the same great experience in your office now as they would in the winter with a full compliment of staff ready to serve and assist.

Another advantage to hiring an OD student for the summer is the potential for grooming an associate for the future. Working in your practice, they will become very knowledgeable about the front end of your business. Understanding the flow from appointment booking to retail sales will make this associate a valuable member of your team very quickly.

It is tempting to consider going short staffed for the weeks different members are off on vacation.  This, of course, is not ideal. Not only will the patient experience be compromised but it will likely also have an impact on your Revenue per Patient (RPP) – the two are intimately related. Are patients receiving additional testing to improve their health care outcomes, are they finding glasses that they want to purchase, are they leaving with drops and vitamins for preventative measures? Discussing these solutions takes time and energy. Tracking and reviewing RPP will give you some reassurance that maintaining a full compliment of staff is in the best interests of both your patients and your business.

KELLY HRYCUSKO

is the co-founder and managing partner of Simple Innovative Management Ideas (SIMI) Inc. and expert Practice Management contributor for Optik magazine. She can be reached at info@simiinc.com.


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