As the owner of a business, you are sometimes confronted with situations that are hard to know what to do about. For example: A staff member who is so good in so many ways but he or she has really bad breath. I myself ran into this yesterday with an old friend I hadn’t seen for many years. Even distancing myself by 3 feet, I was still able to smell the odour and it was extremely unpleasant.
But let’s say this is one of your staff and they are in close proximity with your patients and clients and staff all day. It does need to be addressed. Or it could be swearing or inappropriate clothing and unfriendliness and rudeness with your clientele or too strong a perfume. (By the way, sometimes the staff have had the same issues with the practitioner, so this could be a two-way street on how to deal with this.)
Good Gracious, Be Gracious
How you take up this issue will determine the positive outcome. One client wanted to tell his associate that she dresses like a little girl. Instead, I coached him to suggest that as a new grad it would help her credibility as a doctor to wear a scrub top and a name tag to show she is a doc now.
1. Taking the high road solution instead of criticizing her was the better approach. And he let her pick out the style and colours she preferred and the practice paid for them.
2. Never deal with these issues in public, and after hours would be a better time.
3. Policy manuals can and should have mention of not wearing excessive perfumes (or strong soaps, deodorants, etc.), due to potential allergies of your public. Then you have something to enforce rather than seeming to just make up arbitrary rules.
4. Have potential solutions in mind that you can suggest. Also, ask the person what THEY think the could do about it. This allows the person to be at cause rather than feeling ordered.
5. Be respectful. Treat the person as you would like to be treated yourself. What you have to say to them may shock them as they may have been completely unaware of the problem.
6. Emphasize that it is for the good of the servicing of your patient base and not a personal encroachment.
To have an ideal practice with lots of referrals, many diverse issues may need to be taken head on and dealt with. Just follow the above suggestions.
After all, it IS all about the patient and delivering your ideal service.
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