Bored Office Manager

Thursday Troubleshooter: Office manager has no enthusiasm as retirement nears. What to do?

Sept. 25, 2014
This formerly fantastic employee no longer engages in her work. Could it be because retirement is near?

QUESTION: I’m concerned about a team member who has been with our practice for many years. She has basically checked out. As the office manager, she used to be the one who was excited about implementing new things, and was even the cheerleader for our team. The rest of our team has noticed her lack of enthusiasm, and we’re becoming a little unmotivated ourselves. I'm not sure what steps to take – I'm worried she’s just counting the days until she can retire. Any advice?

It’s always wonderful to have long-term team members. As with most things, there are pros and cons. I'm sure you have experienced most of the pros of having a committed and loyal team member for many years. Although we tend to not want to look at the cons, we’re occasionally faced with dealing with them. I personally, after 16 years in one practice, became bored ... even though it was a forward thinking, cutting edge practice. I was able to do some very exciting things in the practice, but after awhile I wanted to look for the next big thing for me. Thankfully, I recognized the need to move, and doors opened for me to do so.

I encourage you to have a private meeting with your office manager and try to drill down to what is truly going on with her. It could be boredom, it could be a personal issue, or maybe she is just hanging on until her retirement. No matter what it is, it’s important for you to deal with it right away. You owe it to yourself, her, and your team. Ignoring this situation will cost you in the long run. Good luck!

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