Read more from Corinne Z. Wohl, MHSA, COE.
As a follow-up to my last blog, here is one more very common HR problem and suggested pathways to take:
A manager often does not complete work in a timely fashion.
- Assess the situation objectively. Is this a new phenomenon or has it always been this way? Can you pinpoint when it changed? Was there a corresponding organizational shift, eg, staffing changes, new responsibilities, new doctor or service line added?
- Ask yourself if you give clear direction on due dates and project expectations. If not, your manager may not even be aware he/she is missing the mark you have in mind.
- Address your concern with the manager. Provide examples of not meeting established deadlines and ask his/her perspective on what the barriers have been.
- Listen closely to the answers. You may learn something about the practice that you’ve not appreciated before. It’s common for us to think we know all the answers and what goes on. But practice management is complicated, and small, undetected details (eg, barriers) can make a difference in the way employees can perform (or think they are allowed to perform).
- Are your expectations realistic? Are there too many projects on the manager’s plate? It’s better to set three to five goals, meet them and set three to five more, as opposed to having 25 projects listed and floundering while working on them all at once.
- Are the projects and deadlines written and shared? Use meeting minutes or project planning tools for clarification.
If it ultimately is an individual performance issue, proceed the generally recommended way. Set clear, written expectations. Set the goals together with agreed upon timelines. Follow up promptly if the deadline is not met and find out why. Be open to adjusting the timeline when good reasons to do so are presented. Document the success or failure of meeting the deadline. Be prepared to replace the manager, if needed. If you take this action, you will know that you provided a fair opportunity to meet clearly defined expectations.