A healthy balance between professionalism and engagement

Occupational health service

Breakthrough: The professionals at the occupational health service, particularly occupational physicians, assist workers in achieving optimal performance throughout their careers. This requires a healthy business operation. However, professional service providers often face a tension between professionalism and engagement. Without effective management, this leads to revenue leakage: not all the revenue sold to the client is scheduled, not everything that is scheduled is executed, not everything that is done is recorded, and not everything that is recorded is invoiced.

In 2012, the occupational health service brought about positive change in this regard. It was based on a factual and rigorous analysis. Equally important was the analysis and discussion of the perspectives of the involved professionals, who sometimes didn’t document their work for hours because it was seen as “additional” or didn’t invoice certain actions because they had known the client for a long time. A local core team of engaged professionals designed a new approach and described the necessary behaviors to achieve improvement. After implementation, this team achieved a 15% increase in productivity. The real breakthrough occurred during the national scaling phase. The occupational health service utilized a dual change strategy, implemented by the COO. She formulated the framework and clearly articulated the process (the why, the necessity, the timeline). More importantly, she called for engagement, emphasizing the vital participation of the professionals themselves. The occupational physicians from the initial phase engaged in dialogues with their colleagues from other teams. They discussed their added value and their impact on clients, questioning the decisive factors when deciding whether or not to charge for something. By genuinely giving them space within the framework, the professionals felt taken seriously and took ownership of the change. This method sometimes led to new questions and repetitions, resulting in potential delays. However, due to the strong support and increased engagement, acceleration was achieved.

Impact: By resolving a significant and challenging issue, the engagement of the professionals increased. As a result, trust in the organization’s capability was restored, with the belief that “if we can do this, we can achieve even more.” Additionally, customers appreciated the increased clarity and reliability in the service provided.

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