Dr. Mahdi khadematolrasoul dentist
Dr. Mahdi Khadematolrasoul

240408 –A Rotten Apple, Spoils the Barrel

We became short of dental assistant when my personal assistant had to take sudden leave of absent due to her family problem for a couple of months. We wanted to hire someone but the urgency made us to ask everyone whom we knew to refer us a dental assistant with work experience.

The succeeding day we received a call from a former employee of our other branch (personally didn’t have any experience with her and didn’t know how good she was) but since we needed an assistant, we accepted her believing she is the best option since she knows the system of our clinics and is familiar with the working environment. Also, some of the staffs from the other branch knew her.

To me checking her background was a priority so I asked my sister (who manages the other branch) about her. She said: “she was a good staff but she left us suddenly without a prior notice telling she wanted to go back to college and continue her education. Later we found out she was working in another place as saleslady and then moved to another store and has changed jobs three times”. I realized my sister got this information from her relative who still works in the clinic. But what made curious was when my sister told me: “she doesn’t steal and is hardworking but always had problem with other staffs! So do your own research”.

Personally, I believe a working environment with sense of camaraderie among employees as a power that makes a team to flourish in their job. Therefore, the relationship between everyone in the system is much important to me. So far, I did a great job collecting people and creating a good decent team.

Upon interview of this new comer (lets give her a fiction name and call her Karen) I realized she is too polite and I got the vibes of too good to be true. But I told myself its better not to be judgmental and start working with her but I kept her under observation.

Few days later I realized there are conflicts among staffs, I waited for them to bring their issue to me (I first allow them to solve the challenges they face themselves without interfering so they will learn how to solve issues themselves). But as I noticed the conflict among them was increasing. So, I checked their behavior at work and I could see the tension between them.

Finally, I called among the ones I trusted most and asked and realized the new employee doesn’t work as a team player. She does her job specially those seen by the management but skips the tasks that has been divided among the assistants (like cleaning and sterilizing the instruments, or checking on equipment and devices and following the sanitization protocol of the environment). It seems she talks with much respect to her superiors and appears great in their eyes but doesn’t play along with her colleagues and teammates.

Still, I let them be and see if they are going to ask my help to solve their issues. Finally, some came forward and told me how Karen’s behavior and her mistreatment of her colleagues is causing conflicts and also lack of interfering by the managerial is making other employees feel they don’t matter, creating a loop of negativity making each person skips her/his responsibility.

Now it was time for me to enter, so I gave both Karen and all other staffs a private talk and asked them to help each other and despite me knowing character doesn’t change overnight I gave Karen the last warning.

Sadly, I could see how her presence was creating a tense and negative environment for others and how it influenced the quality of their work and team’s overall result. So, I had to let her go, despite knowing I still lack an assistant.

It is crucial to know when to hire, whom to hire and when to fire. The most important thing in a work environment is the peace of mind and the relationship amongst the employees and all the team members. So don’t let one who is not a team player destroy the sprit of the workplace.

Remember: “A rotten apple, spoils the barrel” and if you yourself (as business owner or management) are the rotten apple, it is better to keep yourself away from a good system that is build. Take a vacation, consult and make sure no one’s presence is going to destroy a good system. Watch out for the rotten apple(s).

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