When is it a Good Time to Fire an Employee?

Admit it, docs, you hate to fire a staff member, no matter how bad they may be.  Why is this?  Because now it means you have to find a new staff member and train them, and that, my friend, takes time.  In plain English, it sucks! 

Also, you may feel that by letting go of an employee you will be shorthanded.  Truthfully, your office will be more efficient once you let go of an employee that is constantly complaining or causing trouble. The employees to cut are:

  1. Never happy and very negative.  Negativity will spread like a wild fire in your office.  One bad apple will spoil the bunch.  No whiners please.
     
  2. Clueless. Don’t keep a staff member that does not know her job and constantly has to be told what to do.  Now, if you haven’t provided direction and adequate training, the problem lies with you, the doctor.  Take the time to train this individual.  Make sure you do everything to help this person succeed in her job.  If she still struggles, make sure you sit down with this employee and discuss the situation before firing her.  Ask her what you can do to help her.  Ask what issues she might be having that are preventing an optimum performance.  Have several review sessions and explain to that staff member what is needed and required for her to continue to work for you. If the staff member is not taking and reviewing notes, and consistently makes the same error—even after numerous training sessions—then it is time to let her go. 
     
  3. Disrespectful. Fire immediately if the staff member shows you or any other staff member disrespect.  This person is trouble, and she needs to go.
     
  4. Always late. It’s not good for your practice if one staff member is frequently tardy or absent.  It’s worse if the staff member does not show up at all and does not give the office the courtesy of a phone call to state the reason for not coming to work.  These are red flags and the staff member has to be warned before being fired.  All warnings must be written.
     
  5. Non-motivated employees.  No matter what you do, this staff member is just here to collect a paycheck.  This is bad for the team morale and motivation overall.
     

Remember the reason you go to work?  To support your lifestyle and your family.  You are not obligated to support your staff’s lifestyle.  One last tip:  hire slow and fire fast. 

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