Whether you’re opening a startup or you own an established dental practice, the hiring process can be daunting. In addition to being stressful and time-consuming, it can sometimes be costly. These are just a few of the reasons why many practice owners avoid terminating an employee, even if he or she is causing obvious problems in the workplace. Despite these factors, however, keeping a toxic employee on board can be far more costly in the long run.
Jennifer Pearce, founder and owner of Prosperity Dental Solutions, has over 24 years of experience in dental practice management. She can help you navigate these problems and show you how to handle the problem of a toxic team member.
Recognizing the Signs of a Toxic Employee
No two employees are the same, but there are a few common denominators when it comes to a toxic team member. Here are a few things to look for:
- Dishonesty: This isn’t always characterized by theft or lies, though it certainly can be. Blaming others and refusing to accept responsibility can also indicate dishonesty – and it’s toxic to your practice.
- Poor work performance: All team members need time to adjust when they come on board. However, a toxic individual will never rise above the bare minimum. If an employee isn’t doing what is expected, it’s time to re-evaluate.
- Bad attitude: Passive-aggressiveness, snide comments, muttering, eye-rolling, constant complaining, and confrontational tones are signs of a bad attitude. Behaviors like these can spread negativity like wildfire, sending office morale into a downward spiral.
- Lack of engagement: Everyone has an off day every now and then. But if an employee is consistently inattentive during daily huddles or refuses to accept responsibilities, it can lead to a toxic work environment.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s probably time to consider termination. Waiting too long can have a tremendous negative impact on your practice. If you let go of a toxic employee, you’ll often find that your team is immediately stronger and more productive.
A Toxic Employee Requires Prompt Attention
As a practice owner, every day is busy. If you need time to address a toxic employee, you’ll have to carve it out of your schedule. Yes, it can be inconvenient. But prompt action is necessary to avoid long-term problems. To put things into perspective, a single toxic employee can:
- Directly reduce the number of new patients in your practice: If a toxic employee answers phones or interacts with potential patients, he or she can seriously hinder the image of your practice. In turn, this can lead to a significant loss in revenue.
- Cause current patients to leave your practice: Patients listen to what’s going on in your office. If they sense toxicity or negativity, they may be inclined to leave. Even worse, they may tell other people about their experience.
- Lead to the loss of your best team members: Your loyal employees deserve a positive work environment. If you tolerate a toxic team member, others may feel unappreciated or frustrated. They may feel that their only option is to find employment elsewhere.
Contact Prosperity Dental Solutions
Do you have a toxic employee at your office? If so, it’s important to understand how he or she affects your practice, your patients, and the rest of your team. To learn more, schedule a consultation with dental coach Jennifer Pearce. Call Prosperity Dental Solutions at (817) 975-4576. You can also email us at [email protected].