Last updated on September 29th, 2020 at 01:06 pm
HowÂ do youÂ know if youâ€™ve hired theÂ rightÂ employee?
Very often I see doctors (or office managers)Â virtuallyÂ neurotic about hiring theÂ rightÂ people. Scouring resumes, doing interviews, using all the tricks they know or have read about to makeÂ sureÂ â€“Â absolutely sureÂ â€“Â they haveÂ found theÂ â€śrightâ€ťÂ person.
Obviously, hiring someone whoâ€™s a good fit for your practiceÂ isÂ important,Â but that said,Â itâ€™s a far larger mistake â€“ that I see made often by the way â€“ when you keep someone on boardÂ that isÂ NOT a good fit.Â
From a lost productivity, income and morale perspective this can be far more damaging than just a â€śbad hireâ€ť that didnâ€™t stick around all that long. I say this for a simple reason: you can focus like crazy on the hiring process and eliminate up to 90% of â€śunworkableâ€ť candidates. But thereâ€™s still that 10% chance that youâ€™re going to hire someone that just isnâ€™t going to work out. If youâ€™re inefficient with moving them along and out of your business (which,Â again,Â I see pretty frequently), youâ€™re going to have problems!
So, yes,Â thereâ€™s a lot you can do to attract good candidates, screen resumes, interviewÂ andÂ target the right qualities in a new hire. And we canÂ help you with allÂ of that at MGE.Â But,Â the bestÂ HR work canâ€™t absolutely guarantee that the new hire will be perfectÂ long-term fitÂ for your practice.
And an additional wrinkle here:Â I canÂ tell you withÂ certaintyÂ that youâ€™llÂ neverÂ haveÂ theÂ â€śrightâ€ťÂ employeesÂ if you keep holding onto theÂ wrongÂ ones.Â
Now, beyond the usual aspects of working in a professional environment: politeness, professionalism, good attendance, civil conduct, good manners etc.Â (which are normally expected of any applicant or employee), what is the determining factor between a â€śgoodâ€ť or workable employee and one that isnâ€™t?
Itâ€™s actually pretty simple.Â Â And it boils down to two words:Â JOBÂ PERFORMANCE.Â
Employee Job Performance
Ultimately when rating an employee â€“ you have a simple question to answer: is this employeeÂ performing the jobÂ they wereÂ hired them to do? And how well are they performing?
In my experience, job performanceÂ is theÂ most effective â€“Â andÂ not to mentionÂ the most equitableÂ â€“Â way toÂ create aÂ happy, productiveÂ workplace in yourÂ practice.
Being able toÂ rate performanceÂ assumes that you have a few things in place:
a. Specific job descriptions for each position in the office, including their duties and responsibilities
b. Specific job or responsibility assignments (i.e. someone isÂ responsibleÂ for a specific function or functions in the practice).
c. A means of trackingÂ each employeeâ€™sÂ production using tangible numbers or evidence, not opinion or â€śit seems like theyâ€™reÂ doing a good jobâ€ť or â€śso-and-so says that they ____.â€ť
d. ProperÂ training for each position.Â After all, how can someone be expected to perform if theyâ€™ve never been trained on how to do so? This includes training manuals and someoneÂ taking the time to train them.
Again, here at MGE we provide systems that make it easy for you to implement these things in your office. Contact us if youÂ would likeÂ help with it.
But if youâ€™re missing any of â€śaâ€ť through â€śdâ€ť above,Â and hireÂ with only vague outlines of their expected job duties,Â e.g.Â â€śhandle the frontÂ desk, etc.â€ť or â€śhelpÂ meÂ out with some things,â€ťÂ wellÂ thenÂ youâ€™re never going toÂ aÂ legitimateÂ way of evaluatingÂ ifÂ they areÂ actuallyÂ productive!
AndÂ back to my point, assuming you have good job descriptions and assignment of duties in your office, then the employeeâ€™s personal production will tell you whether or not they are the â€śrightâ€ť or â€śwrongâ€ť employeeâ€”and therefor whether or not you should keep them.
Letâ€™s take a scheduler, for example. The schedulerâ€™s job is to build the scheduleÂ to be productiveÂ andÂ in accordance withÂ practice policy.Â So,Â you put them on the job andÂ thenÂ you find you have numerous holes in your schedule.
You trainÂ themâ€¦and you still have holes in the schedule.
(Related: Hiring Doesn’t Have to Give You an Ulcer!)
You work to correctÂ themâ€¦and then you still have numerous holes in the schedule.
Taking it further, letâ€™s say practice policy dictates that all large procedures need to be scheduled in the morning, and the scheduler keeps giving you the schedule with theseÂ procedures at 5 or 6pm, even after you and the office manager has met with them on this.
The right thing to do here would be toÂ meetÂ with this person and sayÂ something along the lines ofÂ â€śLook, you either do the job this way or you have to find a different job.â€ťÂ (And of course, add the appropriate notes in writing in their employee file. Consult with your employment attorney on this, as I am not an attorney andÂ cannotÂ provide legal advice.)Â And then follow through with that statement.
However, this is not what I see most doctors doing.Â Instead, they make excuses, likeÂ â€śThis person is better than having nobody,â€ťÂ orÂ â€śIâ€™m going to correct them one more time (even though Iâ€™ve corrected them over and over againâ€ť Or the biggest one, â€śIâ€™mÂ justÂ going to keep them until I find somebody better.â€ť
This last excuse is a sneaky one. Keeping the wrong employee until you find somebody elseÂ is not a good idea,Â and Iâ€™ll tell you why:
You arenâ€™t the only one noticing the issues.Â
Your other employees also notice the lack of performance and the mistakes, and this makes your office an unpleasant place to work. TheÂ employee in question that is perpetuating the mistakes is causing more work for you or the other employees â€“ by having to do this personâ€™s job or correct them over and over and over again.
It also creates an atmosphere in whichÂ non-performance isÂ â€śokayâ€ťÂ andÂ youâ€™ll inevitably find the productivityÂ and professionalismÂ of other staff start to slip, as well.
The best thing to do is get rid ofÂ employeesÂ who fail to perform despite attempts to correct this non-performance.Â This may mean that youÂ mayÂ have to cope for a while you find somebody, but you may be surprised to find that staff are willing to pitch in and help out to cover a position that is emptyÂ sinceÂ they themselves donâ€™t want theÂ non-performingÂ team member there either.
So my advice,Â base yourÂ employeeÂ decisionsÂ onÂ jobÂ performance. This includes raises, promotionsÂ andÂ terminations.
This willÂ contributeÂ to thatÂ productive andÂ happyÂ environmentÂ thatÂ you and your staffÂ want to work within.