Have Our Employee's Jobs Gotten Tougher?
I recently hired a woman in her lats 50’s to work as my new scheduling coordinator. She was replacing a young lady who had to leave because she was having a baby and wanted to stay home to take care of her children.
My new hire passed all of the interview tests; She scored well on intelligence exams, navigated basic computer programs, had good keyboard skills, had exceptional references and lived about 2 blocks from the office. I was actually concerned that she was too qualified. She had lived around the world while her husband’s job changed and she had an air of sophistication that one generally does not find in those working the front of an orthodontic office.
She even had experience in an orthodontic office 25 years ago, when she worked the front desk for an 8 year period. She explained that she had done everything the front needed and she completely understood what was necessary now that she was coming back into the field after time off as a mom and an interior decorator. One of her references was actually one of her former orthodontic co-workers who raved about her ability to get any job done.
Her first day in the office was uneventful. We taught her how to use our practice management software, and how we answer the phone. No heavy lifting. We allowed her to watch others and gave her a simple one page checklist for how one in her position opens and closes the office. Most of the day was really observation, with her taking notes and seeing another employees do their jobs. (Note: This post is not about training, but the positions themselves. I’ve had many people come to me as new employees and have never encountered what happened next.)
Early her second day she appeared at the office when the first employee arrived. It happened to be my treatment coordinator (TC). She told my TC that there was no way she could keep working because she had been deceived. The position we were asking her to fill was actually in need of 2-3 people to complete it. She further explained that there was no way a single person could be asked to do so much. She said she was leaving and not coming back because this wasn’t what she signed on for.
Without personal attacks on the employee who left, the question is this: If she was experienced at running an orthodontic office 25 years ago (with rave reviews), and found today’s position to need 2-3 people (the one performed previously by a single woman without any complaints), has the advent of software and innovation actually made the position tougher to do? I remember my father’s dental office and even my grandfather’s dental office and the front desk still had to confirm every patient’s appointment, schedule everything by hand in a book, collect all money, reconcile all accounts, physically tally all deposit slips, search rolodexes for vendors and even write letters (there was no email).
So, has the job become more difficult and have we squeezed more in, or should I simply disregard the ramblings of someone who has been out of the workforce for a couple of decades? The question is: Has technology actually made the job more difficult?
Now I know that if you’ve come to dentistry in the last 10-15 years, it may be tough to answer because you may not have practiced during a time when computers weren’t in the office, but if you DID practice back in the 90’s or earlier, I am curious as to your thoughts about what you’ve seen happen over the last several decades.
Wishing you a great day!
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