Permanently employ or let go of staff that are adding absolutely no value to my business.

I own aesthetics medical practices, been in business / private practice for the last 12 years. I have 2 branches in 2 different locations. The one I opened in 2008 and the second one in November 2018. – so just over a year ago. ( in my official premises)

My older practice (2008) has a lady employed that has been working for me as my receptionist, aesthetician, personal assist to me for the last 10 years, she is the most amazing employee, the best person I know with an amazing work ethic and most wonderful and valuable asset my business has. She makes everything about my work super easy and she is invaluable. As such I have over the year helped her developed her skill and furthered her education enormously … I understate that investing in her and her education & skills reaps the most rewarding benefits to my business. I wish I could clone her, so she could work in both branches, but this is obviously not possible. She is not my problem!

My second practice opened in November 2018 officially – (for 2 years I worked from home – as my second practice) and for a while I worked on my own, but I do need help, I cannot see and treat patients and work at the front desk and answer my own phone do my own admin and charging … the set up is just as would be in any medical practice. I employed and young lady fresh out of college in January 2019 who showed a lot of potential and trained her for 8 months .. she resigned with 2 days notice and left to go work in a bigger city. Which I was ok with, I feel like I do not want to be that kind of person that stands in people’s way that would like to make changes.

My 2nd practice grew over the year as well, so when she left I decided to hire 2 ladies, both with slightly different skill sets, and train them both in all aspects of the business, reception work, the medical device work that they can do, treatments that they can do, to be my personal assistant with treatments. I felt like it was worth the investment to rather have 2 ladies – so there is always back up, and with the second (physically much bigger practice) the potential and growth warrants it. They both started on the same day November 18th 2019. I brought the employee from my other brach to train and work with them for a few days to teach the logistics and make sure they understand the work they would be doing – there is no better person to train them. I brought in company trainers to make sure they were trained on all the equipment. all the products and all the procedures. I spent hours training and teaching them myself. So for most of the 6 weeks, they have really had some intensive training, but not overwhelming because I am there to help them every step of the way and love teaching so really been putting in a lot of effort. My Husband is my practice manager (for both branches) so he takes care of most of the admin, so that does not fall on their shoulders, he is completely efficient at doing reception work if he has to step in and help, so he had been there supporting and training them on the administrative issues all along.

November and December are notoriously my most busy months, Both my practices are in coastal towns, so in holiday season we actually get much busier.

So I have been struggling and woking twice as hard, because the ladies were still training, I am doing my own work, with little assistance, assisting them with their duties to make sure they are competent, which I have been ok with as I am looking at the bigger picture.

We had an understanding that we would be working through December up until the 24th, till 13:00. Both girls have families and in the spirit of being Christmas I told them that they could both have the time off (with full pay – they would not have to put in leave days) till Friday the 3rd of January 2020
I myself worked on the 27th & 28th, the 30th and 31st and today the 2nd of January – on my own.

Here is my dilemma:
They both seem to be the type of people that are just there for a paycheck, there has been no effort to just put in that little bit of extra time and effort on their part.
They both decided that they want their working hours to be from 8am to 4pm (with an hour lunch, which they both take and leave the practice, whether I need help or not at the time…. ) Which is technically not correct, because a workday is 8 -5 with an hour lunch (so they are really working 5 hours less a week than an average employee.)

I myself only work from 9 am (my choice as the boss!) but I work till at least 5 pm sometimes 6pm or even 7pm – I have never expected them to stay and help beyond 4, although at times I have really just needed a little extra help for 1/2 hour or so…. they don’t even offer.

They are expected to work every second Saturday from 9am to 1pm – they alternate so there is someone there to help me, ironically I work every Saturday. Since they started working and doing the reception work: there have mysteriously been no ” appointments” booked in the diary for any Saturdays. If there are no bookings for a certain Saturday, them I take off that day, but generally before I worked at least 2 – 3 Saturdays per month.

I often do bookings via my cell phone message system and I have made bookings for myself, not once has either of them worked a Saturday to help me. We did address this issue….. they seem uninterested. (An issue my practice manager & I decided we would let slide till the new year.)

They also arrive late for work, 15 – 20 minutes …. they think because I am not here yet, that I don’t know, but the front door has a key code that needs to be entered to open the door over and above the key lock, and it alerts me to the time it is entered. They don’t know this, and again I let it slide for a few days. What has happened is that my practice manager now goes to work at @ 7h45 to make them aware that we are monitoring the times of arrival, they don’t seem worried about it, just arrive when the like and don’t apologize for being late.

They are constantly on their private cell phones at work. My practice manager did put a stop to …. kind of working but not.

Their admin work in terms of notes and doing patient files and forms and taking photos has been an absolute disaster …… I spent hours and hours going through every single file and updating the notes and paperwork, did lists of the problem for each of them and taught them again and helped them fix the problems. It made no difference, they still do not do it right and don’t really care that it is not right.

Recordkeeping, photos, good notes and paper work is absolutely essential to running a medical practice where litigation could be involved if something goes wrong.

We have amazing protocols and protocol files in place that deals with every single aspect of this practice that is easy to follow. We also have the most amazing digital files and digital notes and patient information sheets program, so essentially it is all there, easy to understand , a few clicks with an iPad and everything is done and automated. We spared no expense to make the administration/reception part super easy and efficient.

The one girl has not got one single note written for the clients she has seen since the 18th November up until now, even though I went through the files on numerous occasions and told her to do them, she just left and did not bother to do the new ones. (There are treatments at my practice that can be done by therapists and things that can only be done by the doctor.)  The same girl blatantly lied to me and said she had updated and finished all her notes by the 23rd December.  Again went through all the notes during the few days I was off over the festive season and the work is not done. It takes me hours and hours to go through the work. The problem is how do you remember what you did exactly in terms of products used, times for procedures, we do a lot of laser therapy … need watts and minutes and energies recorded so it is on record, there is no way you can remember it all for each patient after the fact.
The same girl phoned in ” sick ” on the 24th and did not come to work that day. I did ask for a sick note which has not been produced yet.

They were both supposed to be back at work tomorrow – quite a busy day for me – (I worked today 2nd on my own) the one sends me a note tonight to say she is sick and can’t be at work tomorrow, the other one sends me a phone messages saying “I just thought I would let you know I will only be back at work on Monday 6th!” to me this show utter and total disrespects and disregard for your work.

So tomorrow not only do I have to see my own patients, but they both have clients booked as well, that I now have to do. Which is really not productive, because I need to be doing the work that only I can do.

90% of the revenue in the new practice is produced by physical work I do …. Both girls get excellent basic salaries that are for the admin work/assisting me with clients and doing whatever it takes to run the practice well. Over and above, they get 12% commission on turnover of all treatments and sales that they do. They both get top end of the scale salaries for the jobs they are hired for, even though they have no experience working in a true medical aesthetics practice. And the norm is 10% commission so they get above average commission.

So I now feel like I have gone from a place of hiring people to make my life easier, to now working harder to pay out money to 2 girls that are basically adding absolutely no value to my business. I feel so resentful – because they are walking away at the end of the month with a big chunk of my money …. I did the work for. The amount of money I am paying out definitely does not warrant the return on investment. I definitely need help… I can’t do it all myself, and my practice manager cannot be stepping into the reception role every time they are not there. It is not his job and then the financial and administrative duties get behind. The fact is they know he is there to stand in at reception if they are not there, which shows they are just taking advantage of the situation.

So basically they started work on the 18th of November – have not been at work for a straight 13 days in a row if they come back on Monday the 6th.

Do I invest more time and effort and try to salvage the situation?

I am a self-motivated, very hard-working doctor, that honestly is easy going and just expects people to give their best and try.  I am not a difficult person to work for, I don’t expect them to run circles around me, I am extremely forgiving and gentle and compassionate.

What I have tried to make them understand is, that the easier they make my life and the more they help and be pro-active when it comes to making my work environment easier, the more productive I can be… and the more productive I can be the more the business will thrive and everyone will benefit! I give bonuses easily, I take my staff to congresses locally and overseas and pay everything. I send them on paid training courses for developed aesthetics skills and personal growth.

Because I put so much of what I earn back into my business, and education and training, I love learning and will grow these 2 girls into something they don’t even realize they can be.

The facility they work in is just the most amazing place and space ever, it is modern, clean, has only the best equipment, it is truly a one of a kind in an area where the market for aesthetic medicine is enormous. And I can’t begin to tell you how much I love my work…. and this second practice I built was a 10-year dream … it took me 10 years of flippen hard work to be able to establish the ultimate ideal aesthetics practice, and I love it and am so proud of it, and I did try to convey this to both girls when I had my orientation with them.

But when they act like this, and totally disrespect what I built up and achieved. I totally shut down and feel like I don’t want to give anymore, I would honestly just work on my own….. but realistically I can’t, the place is growing and I can’t do it all myself.

I am really struggling with the fact that I “choose ” badly when it came to hiring…. so this is essentially my fault. Both girls presented well, one has a lot more therapist background and one a lot more medical receptionist background. I essentially hired 2 girls to do the work that 1 girl is easily doing on her own at the other practice, and doing it brilliantly.

I cannot work in an environment where there is dis-harmony.  When there are stressors like this it affects the way I feel and the way I work and I find myself being unhappy. I feel like negative vibes effects the workplace in terms of the types of clients I then attract – difficult, unhappy clients.

I did a lot of work on attracting ideal high paying aesthetics clients, and it has been amazing… the new practice just has a group of the most awesome amazing clients. But it blows my mind to see how quickly that can shift. I am trying to be calm about it and change my thinking and thoughts and feelings. The more I worry about “feeling negative” the more I worry about attracting the wrong kind of clients or worse still not having clients, then I start worrying about being aware that I should not worry and worry some more! viscous circle

Both girls have contracts in place that have them on a 2 month probation…. so not officially employed till their probation periods are over on the 18th of January 2020. I now have to decide wherever to keep them or rather cut my losses and let them both go, and start looking for staff from scratch. It is going to much easier to let them go now than if their permanent contracts are in place.

I know I would feel bad if I told them to leave because I am acutely aware that they both need paying jobs.  One more so than the other, as she is a single mom and left a job she was working in for 18 years and applied for the post at my practice, she has potential that I am maybe willing to explore and develop a bit, but my instinct tells me I should not. I feel like the other girl is a total lost cause. I guess I am not serving them if I don’t believe in them or have lost faith in them. I also worry if I do this “horrible act” of taking away their jobs – is it going to effect me negatively? Is it going to show up as something negative in my life later.

I am normally the type of person who will rather put up with the problems than have to deal with the uncomfortable situation of letting them both go. But I also know not being happy in my workplace and people bringing negative vibes to my amazing practice (BABY) produces a lot of stress for me and this directly affects how well the business does. It also involves me taking it out on my practice manager – who is also my husband…… which is totally unfair to him and does not serve our relationship well. So I guess my question is do I try to push through and invest a little more time and effort or do I let these to girls go? All these questions I keep asking myself:

What if I don’t find the right people or what if I don’t find people at all? Originally when I placed my ads for the work I did not get a great response at all.

Are there “ideal” employees? How do I find them? ( Don’t know how I got so lucky with first employee) , and do I have the time to find them, and the effort it takes to train again.

I am new to scholars and just started doing some work, my first 1:1 coaching is only on the 13th. I tried to put this one into the model totally could not do it ……. or apply it. Probably was not a good one to start with. There are too many circumstances and too many thoughts and feelings rushing around . – tried to put it on paper – a big mess. Actions I want to take: RUN AWAY….or IGNORE

Thank you for your time and looking forward to any help you can offer.