Can you reform a lazy employee?

May 16, 2008

One of our receptionists shows absolutely no initiative. She makes no effort to promptly answer the phone, doesn't file unless she's asked, and never offers to help the co-workers who frequently assist her. On the other hand, she has a wonderful personality and has been with us for seven years, with perfect attendance. Is there any way to rehabilitate her?

One of our receptionists shows absolutely no initiative. She makes no effort to promptly answer the phone, doesn't file unless she's asked, and never offers to help the co-workers who frequently assist her. On the other hand, she has a wonderful personality and has been with us for seven years, with perfect attendance. Is there any way to rehabilitate her?

Probably not. If she hasn't pulled her own weight for seven years, her inadequate performance is no doubt irritating to her co-workers-and apparent to your patients-despite her "wonderful personality." Her shortcomings tarnish her perfect attendance.

Begin a search for a new hire, and terminate her as soon as possible. But before you do, make sure her personnel file is up to date and contains performance reviews, records of reprimands, and all improvement plans that were undertaken.

The answer to our reader's question was provided by Jack Rue Coleman, CHBC, Dental-Medical Economics, Dallas.

Send your practice management questions to: PMQA Editor, Medical Economics, 123 Tice Blvd., Suite 300,Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7664, or send an e-mail to mepractice@advanstar.com (please include your regular postal address).