Are You Too Nice to Staff and Grant Stevens MD (2)

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Are You Too Nice to Staff?

I see over and over again how NOT knowing how to manage staff is such a barrier to your growth and getting what you want, and that is a successful, well-run, profitable practice you enjoy.

But, oftentimes, that’s not the case. For example, when it comes to staff, the surgeon finds himself catering to staff who need to leave early and come in later, have family issues and need time off, push to work at home, or only on certain days.

Or, they have staff whose attitude and work is just “Ok” so they either let their mediocre work slide through or micro-manage them to bump up the quality. Or, how about the staff who “stirs the pot” and brings in a negative vibe that affects everyone else?

Are You Too Nice to Staff? – How to Manage Cosmetic Surgeon Employees

These headaches could be occurring because the surgeon is being too nice to staff and keeping them too long and doesn’t realize the damage being done to the practice.

When I’m consulting with practices and ask the surgeon why certain people work for them, these responses are common:

  • They’ve worked for me forever
  • They’ve been here since the beginning
  • They’re a nice person and so loyal
  • They know everything about the practice
  • They know me 
  • They can work with me

Every practice I’ve ever worked with has at least one of these subpar employees and some have several. 

But there is a cost to ignoring this. It’s impacting your practice results, office culture and probably your sleep 😉

are you too nice to staff

Rather than thinking what’s good for the practice, the surgeon is often thinking what’s good and comfortable for the surgeon and that’s to shy away from the discomfort of firing someone that is not contributing to the success of their practice. 

Here’s another way to look at this… If that employee cared about the good of the practice and the surgeon, they would bring their best skills and attitude to their job, but for whatever reason, they don’t, so that’s on them. 

But this a drag on your practice growth and leads to stagnation. You have this weight that you’re pulling with you, and you can’t advance to the next level when you’re bringing people along who are no longer suited for what you’re trying to achieve, because it affects the energy of the entire team. 

Here are strategies to help get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off:

Don’t Hire Fire-Fighters!

Your current philosophy may sound like this

“I don’t have enough time, I have admin issues, I have customer service issues, I need to hire someone to come in and solve these problems.” 

And that’s how you attract fire fighters. These people love putting out fires and they are good at it, but now you feel like you are dependent on them. However, since they are good at fighting fires for you, they are going to want more fires to put out and/or will happily create them. You and the rest of the staff don’t need that kind of drama. 

You are much better off figuring out a solution and process that out and identify where the bottlenecks are in your practice BEFORE you bring someone on to fix them. Because now that you have clarity, you just want somebody to come in to fix the bottlenecks.

Reset Your Expectations for This Position

If you have never talked to your employee about your dissatisfaction with their job performance, its time because it’s not fair to them to not get the feedback or the opportunity to improve. 

And the truth is, it’s always kinder to handle it and way better than talking behind someone’s back. That hurts your practice, and you end up with a culture that isn’t productive and isn’t efficient.

So, you want to set new expectations and list out exactly what you want from this position (not from this person). This way, you take the emotion out of it. Be specific. List the specific tasks, the required results and have them agree…or not. Now give them 30 days to “shape up”. 

too nice to staff how to manage cosmetic surgery staff

Hopefully, they just needed a wake-up call and clarity to step up, or it’s apparent to both of you that they are not up for the job, and they give you notice.

Don’t Fire Them, Free Them

Rather than “set it and forget it”, meet with them in 30 days to review their progress so they know you are serious about their growth and holding them accountable. 

Take the list of expectations from above and review with them again. Where did they improve? Where are they still falling short? It might be time to say unemotionally, “Karen, this position requires these standards be met, so it’s clear this is not a good fit for you.”

You now have the choice to reposition them into another position that fits them better or free them (not fire them) to work elsewhere where their skills will be appreciated, and they will be more comfortable. The point is to make this more logical than emotional to take away the drama. 

Staffing issues will always be one of your biggest challenges, so get good at the above to keep the drama at a minimum. 

Check out my training module called, “How to Hold Staff Accountable” you’ll find at: for a lot more strategies to surround yourself with A-Players. Use PROMO CODE: TAS for a killer discount.

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A Complete Guide to Understanding Your Aesthetic Patient and Growing Your Aesthetic Practice. Catherine Maley, MBA went straight to the aesthetic patient to get the answers you need to succeed with your patients.



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