Common Optometry Employee Issues and How Your Handbook Can Help
There isn’t a single optometry practice out there that hasn’t had employee issues at any point. Indeed, like any other medical practice, optometry employee issues are relatively common.
:You may have an employee who isn’t meeting expectations, who isn’t arriving on time, or who simply isn’t fitting well with your team. Instances like these help explain why having an optometry office employee handbook is so important.
Having an employee handbook is important for a variety of reasons. It can lay out in writing what your optometry practice’s expectations are. Without it, employee issues become more challenging to manage. Employees might claim they were never told about a policy or procedure, or that they were unaware of the formal procedures and expectations they had to deal with in your optometry practice. Employee performance may not be up to your standard, and productivity suffers as a result.
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Know Your Optometry Office’s Employee Handbook
Writing your optometry office’s employee handbook is one thing, but knowing it is something else. You should ensure that you create a handbook that you understand and whose policies you enforce. Doing so can ensure that there are never questions about differential treatment among your employees.
Furthermore, when creating your handbook, you should ensure that you create an employee handbook that reflects your priorities. This means you can’t simply copy and paste something that you find on the internet: You have to ensure your handbook reflects your practice’s values and specific approach to dealing with potential optometry employee issues because any mismatches between your policy and what you actually follow will likely be found, and in some cases can be exploited.
This isn’t a minor thing: Your handbook will lay the groundwork for managing serious issues, up to and including employee termination.
As such, you have to ensure that you fully understand what is in the handbook and are ready to enforce the policies and procedures that you create within it.
Keeping It Updated
It shouldn’t be a document that you look at once and forget about it. It should be a guiding resource, and referring to it often helps ensure you are following what it says consistently. This means you have to update your handbook regularly, making sure it is updated by experts who understand the latest federal, state, and local laws that may impact your practice and alter how you handle optometry employee issues.
Regular updates are important to ensure that your policies stand the test of time. This doesn’t mean that you will have to rewrite the document on a monthly basis. Instead, you may need to make tweaks to your non-discrimination policies or records retention policies depending on the nature of the law update(s). You may also need to update paperwork, which HR for Health takes care of.
Remember, it is important to have your handbook reflect those updates to ensure you don’t have any dated info that can potentially get you into trouble. As such, optometry practices should try to update their handbook once per year.
Fortunately, at HR for Health, we have experts on hand who can work with you to ensure your optometry office employee handbook is up to date and in line with all relevant laws.
What Policies To Refer To
Each optometry practice’s handbook is certainly different and may vary based on various factors, including your practice’s size, location, scope of practice, and management capacities. How in-depth you want to go in your handbook about certain procedures, like performance evaluations, is something where you have a relatively high degree of wiggle room.
However, there are some items that every employee handbook should address. These include:
- Policies and procedures for handling complaints around harassment and/or discrimination, as well as statements that make it clear that these types of behaviors will not be tolerated.
- Benefits policies, including who is eligible for benefits, when they are eligible and how many hours and/or years of service must be worked to earn benefits.
- Onboarding and offboarding procedures, including paperwork that must be filled out, how much notice is expected to be given, and other items specific to your locality.
- Standards of conduct expected inside the office, and specifics about what to do if these standards are violated.
- A formal acknowledgment from the employee notes the handbook has been read and is a binding document.
Fortunately for HR for Health clients, these policies are included in your handbook.
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Relaying Your Expectations
As noted above, it is vital to not only create an optometry office employee handbook, but also to ensure that your employees have received this handbook. Fortunately, you can effectively communicate your policies by sending the handbook electronically. E-signatures make the process of gathering employee acknowledgments easy.
At HR for Health, we have cloud-based documentation that can help with this communication process, in addition to personal messages that can be sent with our all-in-one software solution. We can also store the records that your employee received and acknowledged the handbook. This way, if there are optometry employee issues in your optometry practice, there is never a question whether your employee received and reviewed the handbook, ensuring ignorance cannot be used as an excuse for any performance issues.
How HR for Health Can Help
As you can see, having an optometry office employee handbook is crucial for managing optometry employee issues. Fortunately, at HR for Health, we can help you develop the perfect handbook that can help you manage employee issues and communicate your compliance with existing laws. Our handbooks are always up-to-date, and you can work closely with an HR Specialist to customize them.
Want more information on how HR for Health can help you create an optometry office employee handbook? Contact us today to set up a free demo.