Employee issues are difficult to manage properly. They stem from all different types of human interaction. Because of that, you may be very adept at handling one area of employee relations and totally inept in another. As is true of dentistry in general, it helps to have a high emotional IQ. You need to be in tune with what employees are telling you, both via their body language and what they verbalize to you. You need to understand human interaction and social interaction and you need to have high self-awareness. When you come upon an employee relations issue, step back, evaluate it from both sides, and be sure to think about your legal responsibilities. It is very beneficial, in all area of dental practice management, to have a general practice lawyer that you can call and consult. Expect to pay for the luxury of an over the phone consultation. My lawyer is a friend, who is also a patient. I expect him to charge me his hourly rate when I call him, just as he expects me to charge him for dentistry when he comes in my office. I don’t barter. That’s a decision that you will have to make for yourself, I’ll write an article on it in the future. Be it said that I don’t like bartering, I think that both sides end up feeling cheated because everyone overvalues their own services and devalues those of others. So back to our employee dilemma, be calm, be objective, consult a lawyer as need be to insure you are handling the situation within legal boundaries. I’ll talk more about specific areas of employee relations in future articles. This introduction will help you get started and get you thinking about specific problems that you might have. If you have a certain area that you would like me to cover, email me. As an additional resource, here is a great website from the government that will help you with all kinds of employee relations. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
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