Does One Bad Apple Spoil the Whole Basket?
Dr. Jennifer Small – Case Study #113
“Why can’t I find a good employee? They come and they go. It is so disrupting to the team and my patients!”
Dr. Small was again experiencing employee turnover in her practice. The following is an analysis of the problem and possible solution.
Why does an employee stay?
Why does an employee leave?
Although all of these issues are worth exploring, this article will address the concern in Dr. Small’s office. The individual team members communicated the following lament: They don’t enjoy one or more members of the team that they work with and this affects their performance.
Though this is a common thread in many offices, it is also common to see systems lacking in these offices that directly affect these problems. As with Dr. Small, there is a breakdown in communication due to lack of job descriptions for the team. Susie isn’t going to confirm patients because she perceives that it is not her job…she perceives that Judy is supposed to be confirming patients.
Typically this scenario starts the day a new person is trained by the person that is leaving. Whatever is shown to this new person is perceived as the only job duties to be performed. The reality is that no one is sure who is responsible for what and that includes the doctor.
The label of “bad apple” may be premature. This is especially true if the team member is a new addition to the team. When there aren’t training protocols or written job descriptions in place, it is difficult for the new team member to assimilate into the working environment. The following systems are recommended for orienting and training a new team member.
Systems necessary for a successful new team member:
An unhappy employee will leave due to lack of training. Other team members will justify this with “we don’t like her/him” because she/he is too slow, she/he isn’t a team player, she/he doesn’t talk, etc. Before you lose a potentially great employee, make sure that you have the tools in place to help the new hire to be successful.
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