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  1. Briles, Judith MBA, PhD

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Steer your solution cycle in the right direction

Picture this: Brenda has been late for her shift at least once a week for the past 6 months; Dennis doesn't respond to any issue until it moves into chaos; Caroline withholds information from her co-workers; and Bertha fire-hoses every new idea that arises at staff meetings.


Get the red out

These interactions are called red ink behaviors- the working manners, habits, and styles that problem employees exhibit, which can directly and negatively affect your bottom line. Whether or not the creator is aware of his or her negative impact, your productivity suffers. Behaviors and habits to look for include:


[white diamond suit] tardiness (to work and with breaks)


[white diamond suit] high absenteeism


[white diamond suit] lower productivity


[white diamond suit] avoidance/sidestepping of certain personnel


[white diamond suit] a poor attitude


[white diamond suit] gossip (one-on-one or in a group)


[white diamond suit] change resistance.



The quickest way to reduce red ink culprits is to address them when inappropriate behavior surfaces. Your reward for resolution is increased retention, higher productivity, increased patient satisfaction, and a less stressful workplace.


Choose choice employees

Begin your solution cycle with observation, communication, confrontation, and clear delineation of the consequence for continued negative behavior.


1. Recognize that soft skills-effective communication and conflict resolution-are as critical as clinical skills.


2. Make effective confrontation a habit, not a last resort.


3. Teach communication and conflict resolution to everyone on staff.


4. Let marginal employees go. Learn to de-hire.


5. Create a no-tolerance zone, in which bad behaviors are neither tolerated nor allowed.



Don't concentrate on being the "employer of choice." Instead, become the e mployer of choice for choice employees. The real aim is to keep the keepers, which results in a healthier workplace.