McKenzie Management, Inc.
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July 29, 2002
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This issue is sponsored in part by:
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McKenzie's Weekly Management e-Motivator---Issue #22
Like a bad scene out
of an old western, you might just as well be smack in the middle
of the OK Corral. It’s the “front” vs. the “back,”
and they are oilin’ their guns preparing to settle this once
and for all. The rift makes the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys
look like afternoon tea. A little intervention from Sheriff Wyatt
Earp could come in handy right now. But you figure your best bet
is to just get the heck out of Dodge and avoid this showdown altogether.
Tensions have been building
for weeks. Babs the business manager is routinely wreaking havoc
on the schedule, slipping in an emergency patient here, underestimating
the time necessary for procedures there, and storming around in
a huff claiming that nobody tells her anything. Candy the clinical
queen, meanwhile, has decided that information is a commodity to
be doled out to the select few and that does not include the business
staff. It is nasty and only getting worse. The patients sense the
strain and have been slapped around more than once between the right
hand and left hand, neither of which knows what the other is doing.
Conflict in the practice
generates enormous stress on the team and is a significant drain
on productivity. While conflict often appears to be personal, typically
it starts with lack of understanding and system breakdowns. An appreciation
of diverse personalities, job descriptions, and maintaining basic
office systems all can significantly reduce tensions between clinical
and business staff.
- Invest a small amount
of time and resources in personality testing. Staff members who
understand the personalities of their colleagues, including the
dentist, are much better prepared to work with them effectively.
- Job descriptions are
a must. They clearly define job responsibilities. With job descriptions
Babs and Candy both know and understand what their duties are
as well as the rest of the staffs’. Subsequently, they recognize
who is responsible for which systems and can be held accountable
for those systems.
- Hold morning huddles
to allow the clinical staff to direct where emergency patients
will be scheduled both today and tomorrow.
- Provide front desk
staff clear information on time necessary for procedures and charges
associated with those procedures.
- Give employees regular
feedback and establish clear standards for professional office
Diffuse tensions by addressing
those issues that cause frustration among the team. Don’t
allow problems to build by ignoring them or you’re likely
to find your practice locked in the stockade.
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Copyrights 2002 McKenzie Management
- All Rights Reserved.