If you need to let a member of staff go Skip to main content

If you need to let a member of staff go

A downside to running your own practice is that sometimes you’re forced to let one of your team members go. Here are some tips to make this challenging aspect of owning a business a little easier.

Document everything in advance

As soon as a team member enters your practice’s disciplinary protocol, begin to document every issue and meeting with dates and specifics.

Don’t be vague or try and explain

When it’s time to let a team member go, arrange a private meeting and keep your message short and to the point. There’s no need to explain and defend your decision. If you’ve followed your disciplinary procedures then the employee should already know how you came to this decision.

Remain calm and collected

Some employees that have been let go might have an outburst. Stay calm and don’t engage.

Have their final paycheck ready ahead of time

It’s best practice to pay an employee you need to let go everything they’re owed on their last day. This way they’ll have no reason to return to the office. If it’s not possible to pay them on the spot for accounting reasons or otherwise, let them know exactly when they’ll be paid and where the check will be sent or deposited.

Keep the news private until after the employee has left

Aside from your office manager, partner or perhaps associate dentists, there’s usually no reason to involve other team members in the process. It’s often a good idea to call a team meeting immediately after an employee leaves. Keep the meeting short and sweet. Let your team know that the employee was let go but do not discuss the details of why.

The rest of your team

It’s never fun telling someone that they’re out of work – but it’s important to remember that failing to remove an underperforming staff member will have a negative impact on the rest of your team. There’s no reason to feel guilty for protecting your practice and the hard working people who take care of your patients. Most of the time, you’ll notice an almost immediate improvement in morale and productivity following the removal of an underperforming staff member.

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