Gaining disciplinary authority

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Feb 01, 2006

Q. I'm a manager, but the doctor won't give me the authority to discipline employees when necessary. What do I do?


Jane Larson
"This question helps show the importance of written job descriptions," says Jane Larson, the hospital administrator at Georgesville Road Animal Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "To succeed in practice, you need your job responsibilities to be clearly defined."

Whether your job is managerial, supervisory, or technical, you need to know your duties as well as the limitations of your position, Larson says. If you're not sure you do, set a time to talk with the veterinarian about your job duties and responsibilities. In the meantime, your best option is to keep written records of any staff misconduct you observe.

"Maintaining clear, concise records will send a message to your superiors that you're professional and take your work seriously," Larson says.