Managing Employees

Managing employees can be a very difficult and big job. When an employee doesn’t do what is expected of him or her, it’s tempting to blame the employee but the real problem often lies with the manager.  This is not surprising in hearing healthcare practices since most of us never studied HR or were taught how to manage employees and it’s tough to stay on top of having current job descriptions that really reflect what an employee does.

While we may not be prepared for the task, it is our job to tell employees what is expected of them, to train them on how to do their job well, and then to monitor their performance to achieve the desired outcomes.  And it’s important to review each employee’s performance at least once a year so they know if they are doing what is expected of them. Just reading this list is overwhelming. Who has time for such details?

I hear colleagues complain and I admit I do exactly the same thing when an employee isn’t performing as expected.  A good friend and I regularly bemoan about our schedules and the lack of any breaks in our days to complete paperwork or to return phone calls.  And yet, when business is a bit slow, we complain that the schedule isn’t packed with new opportunities. I can almost hear my front desk manager saying, “Geez.  What does she expect? One day she complains about being too busy and then I give her breaks and she complains she is too slow!” Imagine the frustration the employee must feel in such a situation.

It’s been my observation that most employees fall short of expectations because they really don’t have a specific, written job description to tell them what is expected.  Instead of giving each employee a detailed list of tasks and specific goals, I just complain and the situation never changes. Nothing frustrates me more than when I know something should change and I just don’t seem to know how to change it.

So, where does one start in this employee game?

The first step is to decide exactly what tasks you would like the employee to handle. This can be an easy task and as simple as asking yourself what duties you would like to give up so you can concentrate on providing the best patient care and generating more revenue.  You may also want to create a spread sheet and keep track for a month or so of all the different tasks you handle and then determining which tasks don’t require your education and expertise that you can delegate to someone else.

When it comes to creating a job description, the more specific and detailed the better. You may be wondering where you are going to find a job description without having to spend hours of time creating one. Members of the DrGyl Sapphire Society can find a job description for a Patient Care Coordinator in the Download section of the Sapphire Society portion of  If you aren’t a member, perhaps you would consider joining. It’s only $99 a year for many valuable resources that will help you run a practice.

Don’t let hiring or managing employees hold you back from growing your practice. It may be challenging but once you get used to the job, it gets easier.

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