Have you ever had any staffing or personnel problems in your medical practice? If you’re like most, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Who hasn’t had to deal with personnel issues in their practice? Nobody. And if you’re like many managers, you’d rather have a root canal than address personnel issues in your own office.
Well, I have good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news. Ignoring personnel issues won’t make them go away. Sticking your fingers in your ears and saying, “Nah, nah, nah. I can’t hear you,” didn’t really work when you were a kid. And its professional cousin, simply ignoring personnel problems in your office, makes them even worse.
Here’s the good news. You can learn to lead your practice and build a truly championship team. There are three simple steps. Caveat: Simple doesn’t mean easy. 1. Get very clear about what you expect from your people – both with respect to performance and values. 2. Evaluate people not only with respect to their performance; measure how well their values (i.e. how they behave) fit with your practice’s values. 3. Get rid of anyone on your team whose values are inconsistent with your practice's.
The hardest call to make is to let someone go who is a stellar performer, but who violates your firm’s values. – Someone who churns out the work, but is consistently late. – Someone who is great with your patients, but rotten to other staff members. – Someone who is “very experienced,” but who creates a miserable experience for everyone else in the office.
Make a leap forward by removing the people who are good performers but violate your values and making it clear to the entire office why they were asked to leave – not for the usual “personal reasons” or to “pursue other opportunities” but for not sharing your values. Until an organization develops the courage to do this people never have full confidence that the values established for your practice are for real.
For a great read on making the hard calls in your firm, check out Up Your Business, by Dave Anderson.