A dentist recently told me that he was going to take five weeks of vacation this year and did not know how to deal with his staff. In the past he had given his staff members two weeks of paid vacation and he did not know how to approach the situation with his six staff members.
His first thought was to give them all an extra week of paid vacation (for a total of three weeks of paid vacation) and then to take the other two weeks of his vacation time as non-paid time away from work. He felt if he closed for five weeks and increased their paid vacation by one additional week that they would be happy. He approached his staff about this idea and was nearly burned at the stake! He called me and asked for my advice.
After laughing for quite some time at the picture that he painted of the mutiny in his office, I asked him to look at the situation from his staff’s perspective. His staff relied upon their income from his practice to keep their households afloat. Two weeks of reduced pay was a hardship for them. He was asking them to take a pay cut so that he could enjoy longer vacations.
I suggested that he PAY his staff for all five weeks of his vacations. That they use that time to – clean the office, restock, clean up charts, call patients, make sure the hygiene schedule was on track, take continuing education courses, talk at elementary schools about oral hygiene (bring the big teeth) and do other activities that would make the practice nicer and run better.
They decided that each staff would get one extra week vacation (for three weeks away), that each staff member would use five days to do their continuing education units and that they would use the remaining five days to do additional work in the office pertaining to their job.
The dentist will get his five weeks of vacation, the office will be in better condition, everyone will be up to date on their continuing education needs and most importantly – there will be NO STAFF MUTINY!
Dr. Corey Gold
President - Advanced Continuing Education Systems
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