Here's what readers are saying so far.
In our latest Real Deal scenario, Dr. Flynn of Flynn Optometry Associates in Vermont has recently brought on a practice manager, Greg. Greg has hired Brandy, and experienced optometric technician.
Now Dr. Flynn has begun favoring Brandy on major projects, and has made her the point of contact for an electronic medical records implementation. Greg bitterly tells Dr. Flynn, "This sends the wrong message to the staff — and to me."
Several questions now arise:
- Is it right to limit Brandy's growth based on Greg's title?
- Has Dr. Flynn done anything wrong?
- What (if anything) should Greg do to better establish his value to Dr. Flynn and the staff?
We'd love to hear what you think. Check out the full scenario and send us your own response here.
Below is a selection of responses we've received so far.
There is no reason to limit Brandy's growth. Dr.Flynn has a couple of choices here. He could make Brandy and Greg both managers with different responsibilities or he could have Brandy answer directly to Greg. There should be better comunication between the three of them. Dr. Flynn should meet with the two of them and set expectations for all three of them to follow. As it played out Greg felt threatened by being left out of the EMR conversation and he should have been included. Greg should show that he is flexible and will continue to find ways to help the practice continue to succeed with Brandy's input and help.
North Chesterfield, va
The doctor should have had a meeting with his manager to discuss EHR. Then he could have Brandy present her experience with EHR. He undercut his manager.
For many business owners, establishing a "chain of command" is difficult. Dr. Flynn hired a well-respected office manager who went "all in" learning a new industry and a new practice. He also hired a well qualified paraoptometric. While both staff members have established credentials and experience, Dr. Flynn doesn't appear to have established a hierarchy for practice operations and now risks losing his office manager and/or his paraoptometric.
The ideal solution is to meet with his office manager and re-establish his status, then meet with his tech and explain how his team is expected to perform, together, as a team of experts. Vermont requires a license to be identified as an optician and I hope that Dr. Flynn has hired a well-trained licensed optician to complete the team.
Lake Charles, la
Don't limit Brandy. Greg sounds great. High five if you have two racehorses in your practice. Just make sure you're bringing them both along.
Dr. Flynn needs to communicate clearly with each of them and the rest of the staff if things are changing quickly.
If Greg is as good as he seems, he needs to rise to the challenge and manage this go-getter employee. Dr. Flynn needs to recognize there needs to be one manager, but other good employees.
A business owner needs to look at the bottom line and end result. Each employee fills a niche and as such needs to be valued in their sphere. If an employee is feeling out of sorts there could be an honest discussion between the employee and the owner, but there should be factual information shared and not emotional crisis. The doctor is looking out for the office and his tech seems to have skills, knowledge and ability for those tasks. The office manager would have his own realm and should not feel undermined. It would behoove the doctor to not let him find out the way he did, but an employee of any kind needs to be able to back up and see the bigger picture and that this will actually be good for all employees in the end. Emotional constipation is unnecessary.
Dr. Flynn should have kept Greg in the loop. He did nothing wrong by asking Brandy to lead the project. We want to develop leaders amongst all employees, not just the "man with the title". Leadership is not a title and it is important that we educate our team and give them opportunities to learn and grow. This is a great opportunity for Greg to learn and grow. He should be thoroughly involved in the project and soak up as much information as possible along the way. Greg's value will be seen in his willingness to learn from others. Greg must acknowledge his own limitations and be willing to accept help from others. Not knowing is not weakness, and Greg must understand that.
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