As the practice CEO, you need to be directly involved with squashing any conflict that comes up among your team members. They look to you for guidance, and if you ignore the situation they likely will too, letting their frustration fester until it finally explodes.
Yes, you need to take control of these situations before they cause serious damage, but remember, when looking for a solution, it’s important to sit down with the employees involved to not only talk about the problem, but to also get their input on how to fix it. If you give your employees a chance to express their views on the problem and offer possible solutions, they’ll be more vested in successfully overcoming the conflict.
As an employee describes the situation to you, acknowledge his or her feelings and ideas for a solution. Remember this doesn’t mean you’re agreeing with the employee. It just means you’re hearing how he/she feels and want to help her move past the problem. Stay calm during the conversation, and resist the urge to judge or interrupt.
While this initial conversation and input from the employee is a great start, just one good talk likely won’t eliminate the problem. Plan to talk with the employee again, and once you have a strategy in place, monitor the situation and provide ongoing feedback and guidance. During this process you may find other shortcomings and areas that need addressed. Tackle those issues head on as well – with help from your employees.
The more you can get your employees involved in conflict resolution, the more successful you’ll be. They’ll be happy that you’re working together toward a solution, and more vested in using a once negative situation to create positive change in the practice. And once you work together to resolve the conflict, your employees can focus on what really matters – providing the best care possible for your patients, as well as meeting your practice’s production and financial goals.