The boss won't fire

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Feb 01, 2006

Q. The doctor won't fire a problem employee. What can I do?


Dr. Mary Ann Vande Linde
While the decision to fire is up to your boss, you do have the power to confront an employee if she's making mistakes that affect the practice. "Just remember to focus on the person's behavior, not her personality," says Mary Ann Vande Linde, DVM, a practice management consultant with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. Give a specific example that outlines the problem. Perhaps Amanda didn't get all of the filing done last night, so you had to finish up in the morning when clients were waiting.

"Peer pressure is a very effective method of encouraging people to do their best," says Dr. Vande Linde. If the problem continues, you'll need to discuss the issue with the practice manager or doctor. The key, says Dr. Vande Linde, is to be brief and specific. Many doctors are task-oriented, and they may tune you out if you give the whole back story. Just as you did with the co-worker, give examples and explain how the problem affects the practice.

Finally, remember there are some things you can't change. "If the problem isn't in your sphere of influence, you may need to ask yourself, 'How can I learn to accept this?'"