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Monday, October 18, 2010

Being The Boss

Sometimes I really don't like being "the boss".  I'd love to be able to expect everyone to do exactly what they should every time, but unfortunately that's not always the case.  I've been dealing with some issues with my staff for some time now and today had to get hard with them.

I have a good staff overall, and everyone has very good technical skills.  However, several of them have been having some bad attitudes.  We've admittedly had a lot of changes in our procedures and patterns over the last few months, including a new head technician.  And things haven't always gone smoothly.  But this has turned into a lot of complaining, bad-mouthing other staff, and leaving work for others to finish.  People are complaining about each other, and I've seen situations where they complain about something someone else has done, yet they've done something similar.  It's been really affecting the performance of the team and our efficiency, so something had to be done.  I've talked to some individually, but this needed to be addressed as a group.

So today we had a staff meeting, and I laid it out.  I talked about the problems I've been seeing and the performance issues.  I also had to tell them that I would no longer tolerate these behaviors, and if they continued I'd be happy to accept their resignations or would pursue further disciplinary actions.  We're already short-handed and in the process of hiring, and it would hurt us to loose more people suddenly.  But at the same time I'm willing to deal with that short-term problem to fix a long-term issue.

I hate having to deal with people like this, as I'm a basically non-confrontational person.  But at the same time I'm ultimately responsible for the performance of the clinic and the staff.  So over the years I've had to fight against my natural inclinations and actually discipline and discuss difficult subjects.  It hasn't been easy, and I've certainly made my mistakes, but I've also developed some skills that allow me to actually make it through these times.  But yeah, being the boss sometimes sucks.  Still, you have to take the bad with the good, and I accepted this responsibility.

Now we just have to see if the sterner measures will result in a difference or if I'll have to take it to the next step.