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?
She's a workaholic. He doesn't get the rules. She wants a steady, independent work environment, while he prefers lots of activity and public recognition. Here's a quick guide to the care and feeding of team members from different generations.
Everyone's bound to disagree sometimes, but it becomes everyone's problem when issues aren't resolved quickly, says Pam Weakley, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and the practice manager at Dickman Road Veterinary Clinic in Battle Creek, Mich.
We rehired a team member after she had a baby and she's implemented a nursing regimen at work. At lunch, she nurses in her car with her undergarments visible or on the side lawn of the practice parking lot. Then she pumps—in our doctor's office. The rest of the staff is uncomfortable, and we would like to encourage discretion while still supporting her decision to nurse her child. How do I approach this employee?
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?
Working at a practice is like growing up in a big family: no matter how huge the habitat, you're never alone. With such little personal space, conflicts can heat up fast. But a little effort can take the work out of working together well.
Tantrums, crying, shouting—who can get any work done when your team is in a constant state of conflict? Emotional intelligence is your gateway to self-management. And when you manage yourself, you choose the path to a happier, more successful work life.