It’s not my job mate…

Infuriating isn’t it?! That flippant reply from an employee of any company – “It’s not my job mate!” Or words to that effect… it has driven me bonkers throughout various parts of my career so far – and I have no doubt I will come across it again!

I was recently staying in a lovely hotel near Oswestry as I had a meeting with my pals from DPAS (jolly nice people incidentally) and in the morning I went to check out. As I went through this (somewhat laborious – it has to be said) process, I noticed that the hotel in questions card payment terminal was ‘World Pay.’ I half jokingly said to the person on their front of house (words to the effect of), “Did you know you can save a few quid by moving to ‘Lloyds Cardnet?’ You’ll get a new sparkly card reader too!” I got a reply of, “I don’t look after that kind of stuff here, so I don’t really care!” Coupled with a half ironic, half ‘sod off mate,’ chuckle. (P.S. No I’m not being paid anything for saying that out loud – I’ve just had a good experience with Lloyds CN in the past!)

Initially I just thought, “fair enough…. sorry I spoke!” However, as I reflected on this interaction during my drive home, I remembered just how many times I have heard this from colleagues, employees and representatives from other companies during my adult life. Do you ever get this response from members of your team? If so, this is obviously not a good thing! How do we deal with that? Well a few thoughts from little old me:

1) Clear & Concise Job Descriptions – make sure every member of your team has a written, definitive and signed job description in place. Re-visit this at least annually (perhaps as part of the annual appraisal process…) and re-affirm the team members specific role, adding, removing or changing the contents after genuine discussions with that specific person,

2) Encourage The Team To Help Each Other Out & Lead By Example Personally – it’s pretty simple, answer the phone if it is ringing, top up the autoclaves with water if you’re free, do some cleaning, make a recall…. if everyone pitches in, it fosters a feeling of mutual respect, trust and good vibes amongst the team,

3) Share The Team’s Success Stories – ‘We dealt well with a nervous patient, I managed to clean to entire clinical area during that downtime, I had a cancellation in my appointment book so I completed some recalls to help our the front of house team’ – EVERY.LITTLE.HELPS – this again fosters a feeling of togetherness within the team generally,

4) Be Open & Honest With Your Colleagues – If someone has pi**ed you off – tell them, albeit privately. I’m not for one minute suggesting that you have a shouting match with anyone – but get things out in the open, discuss them and come to a conclusion together – even if that is to ‘agree to disagree,’ Conversely, don’t be afraid to say, ‘thank you,’ or, ‘well done,’ or, ‘thank goodness you were there!’ Positive words lead to positive feelings.

There will always be times of stress, negativity and conflict in any workplace, however by being open, honest, communicative and positive – the day to day feeling of your Practice can be a positive one!

Remember – all of this reflects directly on your day to day interactions with your patients.

Much love,


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