MAY-JUN 2014

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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WHEN EMPLOYEES GO BAD FOCUS ON GUIDING The root word of discipline is "disciple," and for good rea- son. A disciple is one who learns from another. Therefore, rather than taking on the mind-set that discipline equates to punishment, think of it as an opportunity to teach or to guide the wayward employee. This approach shows that you are attempting to help the associate grow and ultimately become a better team member. Start the con- versation with, "I have some feedback for you. Let's talk in private." Obviously, this is better than, "Are you stupid? What were you thinking?" There may be times that an employee is truly ignorant of the practice's expectations. ADDRESS PROBLEMS IMMEDIATELY While some incidents—such as sexual harassment or theft—take time to gather information, most infractions can be addressed right away. And this is important. If a staff member has an attendance problem or the quality of his work is not up to par, you must tackle that as soon as you recognize it. The longer you let it go, the more it will seem as if you condone the behavior. If your plan is to wait until the annual performance review to have the discussion, it's already too late. Each day that passes without a word from you is another day where the employee thinks, "Well, I guess my tardiness and absences aren't that big of a deal after all." More importantly, other associates will see this and assume it's perfectly acceptable for them to misbehave. An immediate, private discussion will show your genuine concern for the situation and that you are not one to let things slide. FOCUS ON BEHAVIORS Some employees simply have different personalities than you. Their views on the world are different. They may not smile as much as you would like or they simply have different lifestyles. Personality clashes can unfortunately get in the way of managing those employees effectively. Therefore, it is important that you focus on changing the behaviors of your problem employees rather than trying to change the employees themselves. People rarely alter their personalities, but when they make mistakes, you can attempt to keep them from making those mis- takes again. Put your attention on helping the employee understand why you have identifi ed a particular behav- ior as a problem and explain why it is important to the practice. Focus on specifi c, correctable behaviors and not the person. MISTAKES HAPPEN It is possible that what you think is a major infraction of the rules is actually an honest mistake. All managers have jumped to the wrong conclusion at least once in their ca- reers. So before you put on your disciplining hat and have that conversation, look into the issue a little deeper. In some cases, employees may trade shifts or get permission from a department supevisor to come in late or leave early during school vacations or to receive medical care. In addition, the employee or her department manager may have changed their protocols without notifying other staff members. The bottom line is: sometimes honest mistakes do occur. AVOID A DEBATE Setting aside honest mistakes, when counseling an em- ployee on problem behaviors avoid getting sucked into a debate. There is always a reason (or excuse) why an employee did something he should not have or why he didn't do something he should have. The staff member may want to argue with you about why his situation is an exception. You know it isn't. If you have all the facts about the incident and your policies are easy to understand and interpret, then a debate is unnecessary. Remain fi rm with your stance on the matter, but don't let the conversation escalate into a heated argument. Say something along the lines of, "I ap- preciate your point, however, the practice policy is clear on this. This counts as a written warning. Let's learn from this and move forward." PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE If your practice does not have a progressive disciplinary policy, institute one right away. This delineates the escalat- ing documentation that occurs when there is a violation of the rules. Typically, the policy begins with a verbal warning, fi rst written warning, second written warning and, fi nally, termination. In other words, if an associate continues to miss work or is frequently late, the fi rst con- versation is a verbal warning, the second time it occurs, the fi rst written warning, and so on. Some businesses include a third or even fourth written warning. When it comes to the verbal warning, there is still documentation 52 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics IF YOUR PLAN IS TO WAIT UNTIL THE ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REVIEW TO HAVE THE DISCUSSION, IT'S ALREADY TOO LATE. E m p l o y e e s G o B a d M E D 5 - 6 1 4 . i n d d 5 2 Employees Go Bad MED5-614.indd 52 4 / 1 7 / 1 4 2 : 3 4 P M 4/17/14 2:34 PM

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