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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that must be kept, such as a simple statement that reads, "Angela Mitchell received a verbal warning on Feb. 3, 2014, for frequent tardiness." You and the employee both sign it. There are certain violations that result in immedi- ate termination (theft and fi ghting, for example), making the progressive disciplinary policy a moot point. But the policy provides a framework for keeping employees on track with where they are falling short of expectations. It is also a paper trail in the event you have to terminate a repeat violator. LETTING AN EMPLOYEE GO One of the toughest tasks a manager must perform is the fi ring of a team member. Terminations are not only emotionally taxing, but can affect the morale of the other employees. If you reach the point where you must let an employee go, ensure that you have adequate documen- tation of the infractions leading up to the termination and that you are taking this penultimate step on solid ground. Some general suggestions for this fi nal disciplinary action include doing it in private so neither patients nor other staff members are within earshot or view; doing it quickly (no need to drag out the process); and conducting the conversation respectfully. A typical starter for this conversation is, "Unfortunately, Angela, you have had too many write-ups for your atten- dance. With your recent absences and late arrivals this past week, we are terminating your employment." Again, there is no need for a debate, and be careful that you are not swayed by empty promises or desperate pleadings. If you follow the policies you have established for your practice, you should have a fi rm footing for the termination. Some businesses permit a terminated employee to reapply for their position after six months or a year. Whether you choose to follow this option is entirely up to you. CONSISTENCY IS KEY The lynchpin for any disciplinary policy is that write- ups, discussions and any punitive actions are applied consistently to every staff member in the practice. This means you have to treat everyone equally. You have on the team some stellar players; however, even these stars slip sometimes. Despite your fondness or admira- tion for these individuals, you have to apply the same discipline as you would with any other associate. This is often diffi cult because you know that these A- players are critical contributors to your success. But if you don't take appropriate action, other employees will note that you overlooked the infractions of these particular team members, and this can open you up to serious repercussions. For example, not only do employees see this simply as unfair, but if you have a diverse team demo- graphically, then a case could be made that you made an exception for someone because of skin color, age, gender or a myriad of other factors. Therefore, if one of your "punishments" for violations of practice policies is to give three days off without pay, then you have to apply this same reprimand to the superstars as well. Whenever you have a disciplinary discussion, it is a good idea to remind the staff member that the rules are in place for a reason. When an employee misses work, others must pick up the slack and do his job. When his performance—interactions with patients, cleaning, pa- perwork and so forth—is subpar, it refl ects poorly on the practice, thereby decreasing revenue and patient care. You are not singling out this person, but attempting to get everyone on the same page to make the practice as successful as possible. Year after year you want to increase your numbers and make this year better than the last. With the help of your staff members, the best year is one where no discipline has to occur at all and every associate is rewarded for outstanding contributions . Steven Austin Stovall, PhD, is professor of management at Wilmington College in Wilmington, OH. He can be reached at Practices should have a progressive disciplinary procedure that is applied to all employees. WHENEVER YOU HAVE A DISCIPLINARY DISCUSSION, IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO REMIND THE STAFF MEMBER THAT THE RULES ARE IN PLACE FOR A REASON. © ISTOCKPHOTO.COM WHEN EMPLOYEES GO BAD 54 MAY/JUNE 2014 | Med Esthetics 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 4 Employees Go Bad MED5-614.indd 54 4 / 1 7 / 1 4 2 : 3 5 P M 4/17/14 2:35 PM

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