Stress can affect your productivity

Stress can affect your productivity

When separation is necessary, it’s important to do it properly, with respect and dignity. But often when you’re considering letting someone go, you may be missing out on an opportunity to modify problem behavior and salvage an otherwise good staffer, good person or good partner. Many get married and then get divorced, many stay married but unhappy, many stay married and happy, there is no magic formula, it all depends on both partners, a worker and his/her boss.

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 The time to regain full productivity with a new hire can take up to one year ,with an investment in that training of up to 20 percent of the employee’s salary. The trick is finding the balance between the effort needed to correct problems with the reward of reclaiming a good employee and the bonus of not having to go through the time, the energy and the expense of replacing them.

 Many devious managers hire you with high salary and then nicely ask you to teach you skills to others, the lower pay technologists who are new graduates or have no experience and in many occasion they are his/r relatives or friends, they when you do that and they gain the skill they get rid of you somehow, because it is cheaper for them now to work with the others who have no benefits’, and get half what you get.

I know many of my skilled friends that taught others and in the end they were the first to go with layoff, especially if the boss is from a visible minorities. I don’t know why but this is what many friends are telling me.

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But it is also a dangerous move as many of those new graduates and with no experience stay with the employer for a few years and leave them and go work somewhere else that pays those more and have better work conditions.

We have technologists who lies when they submit their CV, and when they get hired we find that he/ she don’t do this exam and that exam, and we get stuck with them yes all those difficult exams come to me, such as carotids, arm Doppler, renal Doppler and more.

 Here’s the first thing to consider when wondering if it’s time to terminate:

You hired that person because you thought they held promise. Unless they completely misrepresented their skills and expertise, they were likely a productive member of the team at some point. If you could correct the problem and get them back to that place, would it be worthwhile? When I offered to teach them so they could share the burden, they refused and the manager sided with them for some reason because they are excellent in nose browning.

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We used to have a technologist who was habitually late for work. She’s a good worker, but never on time, especially at her first patient appointment. She had no kids and always had some excuse. The manager was aggravated that she frequently arrives late. He didn’t dare to ask her and she kept doing it. Always I had to do my patient exam faster so I can take her case too, as it is not the patient problem who comes to the clinic taking time with a full bladder and he/ she doesn’t want to be told sorry your technologist is not here , it is bad situation.

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So I had to do it in the name of teamwork!. What kind of team work I used to ask but all I get is deaf ears. I asked if anybody can’t make it in the morning to move the shift to 9.30 am to 5.30 am, she refused! I tried to find a solution and not be part of the problem.

One day I decided to come late and I selected a day with a very simple case of renal ultrasound first patient, then I called the clerk and I told them that I had car problem and I will be late for my first case and asked them to give the patient to the technologist who always late and I always took her cases.

When they asked her to do my case too, she refused! She was ungrateful and a very slow technologist. In time with many other problems their manager couldn’t take it any longer so he let her go.

 He used to give her the stink eye whenever he caught her sneaking in late; He left notes on her desk or texted her to “make an effort to get to work on time,” but she was always late. Always slow that many patients complained and other technologists ended up taking her cases beside the case load they had. It is all because she got hired as a friend of a friend, she knows someone who knows the manager and he had to put up with all the unprofessionalism.

Progressive discipline couldn’t work for some people. You must emphasize to them that no matter how good their work is, the rules apply to them just like everyone else. If he / she doesn’t take ownership of their problem and correct it, they should be warned and then will be let go, first warning, second warning, and then termination.

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The same policy should apply to any employee who cannot meet the terms of employment. Some refuse to learn new skills like doing leg DVT ultrasound and we offer free training but they just don’t. They need to be able to learn new skills, adapt to the change, and take ownership of their mistakes and accept responsibility for their future employment. If they cannot, then separation is of their own doing. No surprise there.

Fairness is paramount, bad employees really do diminish morale. Many technologists know that they should do excellent in the first 3 months probation, but after that they will go back to their laziness and bad attitude and unprofessional behaviors.

A study of trust-based relationships and organizational fairness perception, summarized in MIT Sloan Management Review, highlights the need for employee trust. Combining the work of three data models, a team found that when employees experience something divergent from how they expect to be treated (like fairly and equitably), they react strongly. The “expectation-experience gap” can be a precursors\ to a loss in productivity. One of the authors’ top recommendations: Establish clear rules and implement them consistently and transparently across the organization.

In addition to affecting productivity, Psychology reported that employee stress levels can be exacerbated by workplace unfairness. People who believe they are treated unfairly tend to be preoccupied with work-related problems. This can lead to stress, related medical problems like substance abuse, emotional distress, lack of good sleep, fatigue, lack of focus, reduced productivities, don’t contribute to solutions any more, stay silent in meeting, and reduced the discussion and conversations with others at work and keep it to themselves, and resulting in absenteeism.

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The best method to keep your staff productive and engaged is with respect, kindness, fairness, loyalty, inclusiveness, conversation and discussion in meeting , correction with advice and points the facts and not fingers, be a leader and teach them the keys as you hired them to bring the best skills and serve the patients with high standard of professionalism.

You have to understand that technologists and other workers are different; each can handle the anxiety differently. I knew a clerk used to work in a hospital in north Alberta , she committed suicide and left a letter beside her bed “saying that she couldn’t take it any longer, as she work so hard , and it seem that whatever I do and tried wasn’t good enough to my boss”

To me that was bullying by the manager who denied any wrongdoing and that he was politely pushing her to success and not bullying her . So make sure before you push anybody to know the level of their anxiety and stress, their personality and how they can handle work under stress and pressure. It is an art and only a wise leader understands that. You must know that words are worse than a weapon, so don’t push them to the edge.

Many good employees with bad habits can be corrected. Turnover is costly and demanding on HR and departments. It’s hard to underestimate the value of employees who know and get company culture, are comfortable and competent with the work and don’t require training. If an employee has a bad habit that is negatively affecting the team at large, it’s not the employee’s role to identify and address it, and it’s the manager’s.

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So don’t lose your cool and temper, be a leader, first understand the problem at hand, what, when, where and who, then put a course of action and then follow up to see if it is corrected in a nice way and reward the good employee, it doesn’t have to be with money but with good words, encouragements and make them feel they are great and valued employees.

Rules are not suggestions. If an employee has had ample time to correct problem issues but does not, they need to pursue other career opportunities.

The office bully may have a client list as long as his ego, but the ripple effect of his/her personality undermines everyone that has to deal with him. You may think you can’t possibly let him go, but consider how morale rises when She/ he’s on vacation. Wouldn’t it be nice if every day was like that? Say Goodbye to those employees as soon as possible before they destroy the place.

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Some of those technologists are so rude not just to the patients and clients but to the team. They are loud, point fingers and not facts, always nose browning, and they are like dark sad clouds covering the sunshine of hope, they are full of jealousy and envy. Then they have few gangs with them to support them and act like a mafia. They pretend that they know everything; they are number one and full of it like President Trump. They bring bad culture to the company, and make everybody else down with stress.

Can’t get anything done because “someone” hasn’t completed their part of the exam because they are slow, they cannot do this or that, they don’t want to learn and get new skills, they miss lots of pathologies and make many mistakes, again? If repeated corrections and progressive consequences haven’t worked, it’s time to find someone who can get the job done.

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I see that with so many technologists who didn’t graduate from an accredited school, or come from overseas and do the bridging program. Some are great at the end, after 5 or 6 years but they make so many mistakes that create lots of problems. If they don’t care about the work, the patients, the customer, the company, or their coworkers, why do you care about them? If you can’t turn around their attitude, it’s time to turn them over.

These weakest links employees relish discord. They thrive on office drama, take nourishment from hurt feelings, and put the company down at every opportunity. They start the fight, then sit back to enjoy the show. These are likely personality issues you’re unqualified (if you even wanted to bother) to resolve. Remove the tumor they’ve become and let the healing begin. Sometimes the tumors are the managers or the supervisors, so the Director and the leader should find someone else to do the managing.

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Some supervisors want to use you, they want you to work in multiple sites, they don’t care if you live far away and you have to drive so far. They want you to do everything and don’t care if you are good in specific exams, qualified and registered in those exams while others do not hold the qualifications and registrations and if you say sorry I can work in 4 different places they let you go.

Those people are users in the name of team work, they just want to use your skills to cover for those who are called in sick all the time, or don’t show on time , so the manager wants to make sure he/ she has a working horse, running dog like you to do these jobs.

If an employee was just toxic or unhappy, usually the root of their misery was the job, the company, or something internal, like bad managers and supervisors, quantity over quality work to make more money and less care for the work related injuries.

Moving on is a good thing for many workers to get rid of this poison environment. Many employees say leaving the job and the bad company was the best thing that happened to them. It forced them to find a better opportunity, and they were happy and thriving, but they had to stay for a while to find the good job, as it is hard to leave your comfort zone. Remember that your life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Steve Ramsey, PhD.

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