is key to understanding your associate's expectations.
his classic article, "The Psychological Contract: Managing the Joining-Up Process,"
John Paul Kotter defined the psychological contract as "an implicit contract between
an individual and the organization which specifies what each expects to give and
receive from each other in the relationship." As shown below, matches and mismatches
can occur based on the four sets of expectations hidden in this contract.
have unrealistic expectations about recently-hired associates, and vice versa. These
one-sided, unspoken expectations often lead to disappointment and resentment on
both sides. They're based on the presumption that both sides will cooperate with
a plan that has never actually been discussed between them.
optometrists enter into business relationships with entirely different agendas and
discuss these agendas, invariably one or both individuals are surprised when things
don't turn out as expected. For example, optometrists may be disappointed that recently-hired
Haven't networked with ophthalmologists, primary care physicians and other specialists
who could make referrals to the practice
Spend too much time with patients
Don't take an entrepreneurial interest in the practice
Have unrealistic expectations about compensation and eligibility for partnership.
the other hand, associates may be disappointed with:
The long hours they're expected to work
The constant pressure to work faster, see more patients and produce more revenue
The lack of a "voice and a vote" in such matters as the establishment of office
policies, purchase of new equipment, or hiring decisions
The slow progress of increased compensation and benefits, and an eventual partnership.
a new associate expects to receive What the existing partner(s) expect to
a new associate expects to give What the existing partner(s) expect to receive
We're only human
The failure to
have up-front discussions about such matters is understandable. An optometrist who
is anxious to find an associate doesn't want to scare off a good candidate by making
excessive demands about the future. Likewise, a prospective associate doesn't want
to jeopardize a good career opportunity by doing the same. Yet, without discussing
such expectations at the start, it's unlikely that everyone will end up "on the
same page." Disappointment for one or both parties is inevitable.
At the outset,
let a prospective associate know your priorities and reasonable expectations and
what, if any, timetable you have in mind. Ask the associate to do the same. To reach
agreement, mutual compromise may be necessary.
important point to remember is that the more a new associate understands and agrees
with the policies and priorities of your practice, the fewer surprises he will have
down the road. Extensive communication and dialogue conducted in advance will help
you and a new associate better understand one another's goals and will let you
both know very early whether or not the match you're considering is a good one.
NEWEST BOOK, "201 SECRETS OF A HIGH PERFORMANCE
OPTOMETRIC PRACTICE" WAS PUBLISHED BY BUTTERWORTH-HEINEMANN.
YOU CAN REACH HIM BY E-MAIL AT B.LEVOY@ATT.NET.
Optometric Management, Issue: July 2005