I'm an office manager for a practice with 26 doctors and team members. Because the owner hires personal friends, I can't effectively discipline team members who don't meet expectations. One problem employee has known the owner for more than 20 years. She's not a team player and her poor performance frustrates others. What can I do?
You're the practice manager at a mid-sized clinic. When the stress index is high, one of the associates snaps at team members. Several team members have complained, and a few have threatened to quit. You're ready to discuss the problem with Dr. Sweet, the associate. Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Pam Weakley offers this sample script:
Our mixed animal practice is co-owned by one part-time and one full-time veterinarian. The part-time doctor handles the administrative duties, but she regularly arrives late and leaves early. The result: Our practice doesn't function smoothly and we're constantly operating in crisis mode. What can our team do?
Every day at our practice is a scheduling nightmare, and our doctor just does not see the problem. Our practice is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We accept drop-offs from 7 to 8 a.m., but our doctor refuses to schedule a team member that early. He says he'll help clients, but when my manager and I arrive at 7:30 a.m., clients are waiting and upset. My doctor also complains if he has to pay us overtime, but if someone comes to the door or calls at 6:55 p.m., he lets them in. I understand he wants to generate revenue and help the pet, but whether it's an ear infection, an abscess, dental care, or a hot spot, he wants to treat the pet immediately. How can we run an efficient, regularly scheduled hospital?