I write about positivity. I espouse the virtues of giving people a second chance. I believe that we all have good inside of us and are capable of great things.
Sometimes, however, we need to just give up and move on.
Unemployment in this country is thankfully low. We have a workforce that, in most urban and suburban areas, can find a well paying job if they look for it. So, it means that finding a good team member may be more difficult than it used to be. It may mean that the ones we do find aren’t as capable, adept or loyal as we might have been used to 15 or 20 years ago. That raises issues.
So, let’s look at out teams. Maybe you have 2, 3 or 15 employees, and most are solid workers. Not perfect, nor even close, but mostly loyal and mostly hard working as well as mostly competent. But maybe one is talking about others behind their backs, or cannot follow directions or whines a lot or just generally drags you and the team down. What do you do?
If you’re like most orthodontists, you ignore it and stick your head in the ground. Oh, you talk a great game on social media; You’re the Kingslayer when dispensing advice, suggesting that you are quick to sever anyone who gets in the way of your culture or vision, but we know better. You aren’t slow to hire and you aren’t quick to fire. So, you ignore the problem. It festers. Others start to be problems and before you know it, you have widespread culture problems.
And worst of all, you knew all along what you should have done, but simply couldn’t bring yourself to do it.
Poor employees have a real impact on our performance and culture, and in my late 40’s I learned to ALWAYS trust that little voice inside my head telling me that someone was a poor fit. But I still give second chances, with crystal clear expectations. I always give job descriptions of what is necessary to properly carry out a job. And I am no longer slow to fire. It doesn’t mean I’m heartless, because I absolutely detest talking someone’s livelihood away, and sometimes I don’t have the moxy to let someone go.
The lesson is this: Take your time getting to know possible employees before you hire and do your due diligence. Spell out exactly what you expect and DO let people go when they don’t meet your standards on a consistent basis. Don’t ever stand for insubordination and never act on here-say; You never know someone’s agenda.
But know this: When you see, for sure, that someone isn’t a good fit for your practice, let them go. Immediately. Yes, the next employee may be hard to find, but it’s way better than watching your office morale and culture deteriorate. Pull the band aid off and move forward. You’ll ALWAYS be happy you did.
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Wishing you all the best!!!