Pennwell web 200 228

pat pine response

Dec. 16, 2011
A solution for gossiping, lazy, and complaining staff

by Pat Pine, RDH

I liked the response from the doctor about his/her pet peeve. But does he/she as the employer realize that he/she has the power to do something about it!

My pet peeve is doctors who complain and do nothing about it. During my 29 years as a dental hygienist, I also have had experience with reception and employment of dental assistants. Doctors need to get on the stick and determine what type of employee they want to represent them. Whining, lazy, gossiping employees are plentiful because employers let it happen. Get rid of them, and hire employees that want to be there, working and providing a service to the public and that the doctor can enjoy working with. As many of you know, whining, gossiping employees bring the attitude down of the entire office.

There are many dental hygienists and dental assistants that are well qualified to take over the positions of unappreciative employees, bringing up the morale of the practice.

Putting policies and procedures together before hiring anyone assists in this process of hiring the right person and avoiding the whining, lazy gossiping. Staff meetings also provide a time to vent within a safe environment. The employer needs to make it happen. Leadership is not always their strong suit.

Solutions to gossiping, lazy, complaining staff:

  • Schedule a staff meeting for just this concern. Communicate to your staff that this is unacceptable. In the past, you have allowed this to occur. You would like to see things change and this is one pet peeve of yours that you want gone from your practice. Ask them for ideas on how to halt this behavior. Negative attitude is contagious.
  • You (the employer/doctor) would like to bring the practice to a whole new level.
  • Put up a complaint box/ suggestion box for employees that you will review once a week at weekly staff meetings.
  • Discuss the things that need to change, the negative attitudes that brings you down as a person. That is not what you want the practice to reflect. If things are said within the walls, much is said outside the walls. That could reflect negatively in the community, reducing referrals.
  • Work with a consultant: Determine where the communication breakdown is. Work on new written policies and procedures.
Last resort:Fire the team that is negative. Hire a new team with a new attitude. Leadership needs to be present. Team members respond from the doctor. People learn what they live. Some employees may bring past experiences with them to your practice.