What to Consider Before Promoting to Office Manager

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When dentists decide it’s time to hire an Office Manager, many of them look to their current team first. Rather than searching for the perfect candidate, they decide to reward one of their “good” employees with a promotion. Unfortunately, that usually doesn’t work out.

Why? Just because team members excel in their current role doesn’t mean they’ll be able to handle the many duties that come with the Office Manager position. Remember, a good Office Manager is comfortable working with numbers and people, and is both efficient and personable. This team member also deals with a lot of stress throughout the day and must juggle multiple tasks—which simply isn’t for everyone. Some people thrive in this type of role, while others quickly falter.

If you promote an employee who doesn’t have the right skills or temperament, it will only lead to problems for your practice. Let’s say the person you decide to move to the Office Manager role is great with patients and the other staff members. You’re confident this person will excel in HR duties and be excited for the opportunity. The problem is, this employee hates math and dreads the thought of dealing with the practice financials. But you both decide this person will grow to love that part of the job as well and move forward with the promotion.

As nice as it would be, the truth is your new Office Manager won’t magically become a numbers person. Instead, he or she will be miserable and ineffective in the new role, and eventually start looking for a new job. If the employee doesn’t quit on his or her own, you’ll be forced to restructure the team so this person is no longer performing the Office Manager duties. This all leads to a lot of unnecessary stress for everyone involved—and certainly doesn’t do any favors for your bottom line.

Hiring the right Office Manager is critical to your practice’s success, and while I’m sure you’d like to reward an exceptional employee with the promotion, that isn’t a good idea unless the employee has what it takes to succeed in the role. If not, start searching for the right fit and reap the many benefits an effective Office Manager can bring.

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