The Hidden Costs of a Sub-Par Employee « ePractice Manager | Systems for next-level growth

The Hidden Costs of a Sub-Par Employee

By ePractice Manager
September 11, 2023

Finding the right employee for your practice can be a challenge. And sometimes, the stress of potentially being short-staffed can encourage a practice to retain an underperforming employee.

However, keeping on a sub-par employee has a slew of hidden costs which may not be apparent at first. 

Increased Workload/Decreased Production
It may seem counter-intuitive that you will have a larger workload with an additional employee, but when you have someone who is incompetently doing a job, others will often have to step in and handle those tasks. Now you have someone re-doing work, or stepping in unexpectedly and being pulled from their own role.

Lowered Team Morale
As mentioned above, an incompetent employee will increase the workload for the other staff in your practice. Over time, this can create a lot of tension and drama in the office. Most employees take pride in their work, but seeing an incompetent employee consistently “get away with” lower standards may have the unintended effect of dragging down the office standards as a whole.

Poor Company Reputation
It is always important to give the patients the best experience possible. Each employee is trained to do their job well for the health and safety of the patients, as well as the other staff in the practice. Unreliable employees create an environment that is at a higher risk for error and can lead to poor interactions with patients. For example, if an incompetent employee is working the front desk and doesn’t handle billing or scheduling properly, the practice risks losing money, as well as the patient.

All it takes is one bad review to affect your practice’s reputation. Having an unstable employee increases that risk.

Stalled Practice Growth
This type of stop-gap measure (keeping an under-performing employee too long) can put a practice owner in a state of general pause. This distracts from creatively and proactively addressing other topics, such as marketing and process improvement. In the long-term, keeping on an under-preforming employee will inhibit the overall growth of the practice.

Dismissing an underperforming employee—and rewarding those with good performance—will result in others stepping up and covering as needed until that gap can be filled. Although it may seem that the job market, or other circumstances, are forcing you to keep on an underperforming employee, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

Check out our series on hiring for advice on finding the perfect employee for your practice! Read the first in the series here: Narrowing Down the Ideal Candidate.

Here at ePractice Manager, we understand that running a practice is stressful, which is why we offer a full suite of onboarding, training, and management resources—to help you focus on what matters most, patient care.