Your productivity is inexorably linked to how frequently you have to address staffing issues. Phlebotomists calling in with the "red flu," bullies reducing other team members to tears, customer service failures, interpersonal friction,... all these and more cost you dearly in terms of your momentum.
There are two approaches to managing the productivity suckers on your staff: 1) confront the individual or 2) confront the process the individual uses that destroys your productivity. If you choose to confront the individual instead of the process, you'll likely lose on many levels.
People don't respond well when a manager considers them broken. But when managers address the process that caused the disruption, it's hard to take it as a personal assault, even when the broken process is a thought process. Here are some examples:
- blame the person: You are rude to our patients
- blame the process: The way you approach some of our patients comes off as rude
- blame the person: You're not very professional
- blame the process: The way you look and act does not project the image of professionalism we require
- blame the person: You're a gossip
- blame the process: The things I've heard you talk about constitute gossip
- blame the person: You're always so negative
- blame the process: You seem to take a pessimistic approach to change and new employees
Note the subtle differences in approach. When we use character labels, we blame the person: "You are flawed."
When we identify behaviors or decision-making, we blame the process: "The way you choose to perform (or interact, dress, etc,) is flawed."
While our knee-jerk reaction is to consider the disruptive employee to be deeply flawed, if we set out to change the process, especially the thought process, we often change the person.