Sterile matters: When a technician just isn’t making it

By: February 2nd, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

Talent selection is difficult for most managers. It is an extremely important when the employed talent has the ability to cause harm to another by the quality, or lack of it, of their work. Sometimes the right fit for an organization or a particular department is not known until the employee has been apart of the team for a bit of time. Regardless, when the fit does not work or no longer works the situation must be handled. However, handling it can be tricky, but not impossible.

While there are multiple types of employees of poor or under performers, we are going to discuss just two: the wrong new hire and the once productive and now under/poor performer. Before you sever ties consider your circumstances and evaluate your options:

  • For the new hire, was your orientation program robust enough? Did you have the right type of training matched to your new hire? Was their role clearly defined and initial expected tasks expressed well? If not, is there time and internal skill to re-group and begin the process of orientation over?
  • For your seasoned member, what other factors could be contributing to their decreased performance? Have you objectively discussed the work performance change with this associate?

Have you documented your coaching and counseling sessions which should include three points:

  1. What the issue is?
  2. What is the expectation?
  3. Guidance for success.

Without these three elements, it really cannot be considered a coaching or counseling session.

There will be potentially many reasons as to why a technician may be under performing. Getting to the root of the issue is important. While it may not completely solve the issue, it is a good first start. Once you know why, it becomes a bit easy to try to overcome. However, if no attempts work, counseling and coaching remain ineffective, and then it might be important to consider alternatives.

Patients deserve the best care and this includes maintaining competent staff members that support direct patient care. Without it our patients really are not getting the best service possible.


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