How to Handle Firing a Dental Employee

Woman being confronted with loss of employmentAt some point in your dental career, it’s more than likely that you’ll have to let a member of your staff go. If you’re having trouble with a particular staff member, it’s important to go through the proper motions. Providing guidance, offering additional training, giving warnings, etc. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, the employee may just not be a good fit.

As the dentist and CEO of your dental practice, it’s important to document all the proper channels you’ve gone through and the ways you’ve tried to fix the situation. Once this is done, it might be time to fire the employee. This can be a difficult thing to know how to do properly and comfortably. Here at Dental Insurance Credentialing, we have a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to letting an employee go.

Do’s & Don’ts of Firing Dental Employees

Below are a few tips on how to handle the firing of a member of your dental staff.

DO:

  • Stay positive – Shake your former employee’s hand and offer well wishes. There’s no reason why things can’t be kept civil.
  • Pay the employee – Before your employee leaves, make sure you provide him or her with the final paycheck they are owed. If this isn’t possible, make sure to let the employee know when to expect the final check or when they can pick it up from the office.
  • Collect any practice property – Now is the time to collect the office key and anything else belonging to the dental practice while allowing the employee to collect his or her personal belongings.
  • Let the other staff know – Lastly, if you don’t let your existing staff know that the employee has been let go, the rumor mill will begin to churn. There’s no need to go into detail, but it’s important to keep your staff informed.

DON’T:

  • Apologize – Even if you feel badly for letting someone go, remember that you’re only doing what is best for your dental practice, patients, and existing staff members. You can be sympathetic, but avoid apologizing.
  • Become defensive – Prepare yourself for your employee to be hurt and angry about being fired. The employee may hurl insults or accusations, but avoid engaging in the conflict. Remain calm throughout the meeting even if your employee loses his or her cool.
  • Allow for misunderstandings – During the meeting, you need to be clear and to the point. You don’t want the staff member to misunderstand the reason for the meeting. It should be clear that he or she is being terminated, but it’s also important to be respectful.
  • Involve the rest of the staff – When it comes time to fire an employee, avoid doing it in front of the rest of the staff. This is a meeting that should be held in private, although, depending on the situation, you may want a witness present. Make sure the meeting is held when there are no patients in the office, just in case of a conflict.

We know that it’s not easy to lose a team member, especially under such stressful circumstances. However, it’s vital to have employees who are friendly, motivated, and good at their job. Otherwise, your dental practice will suffer.

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We’d all like to think that our businesses are invulnerable to any type of fraud. But the truth is much more complicated…
This may surprise some dentists, but if any more than around 1% of your appointments result in a no-show or are canceled…
Dental partnerships can be delicate relationships, much like a marriage. And, like a marriage, it is not a relationship…

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