Just don’t take my advice.


“Just Don’t Take My Advice”

H.R. is too subjective to rely on just one source of information.



Shortly after I was promoted to my first management position, I was faced with making my first hire. After daydreaming about how this person would develop into a star, anxiety set in. What if I hire someone who can’t handle the job? What if this person doesn’t get along with us? What if he/she wears jeans and it’s not casual Friday?

As luck would have it, I was able to get a few minutes with a senior manager who had hired his share of top performers. He said he would be happy to discuss hiring and human resources (H.R.), under one condition: “Just don’t take my advice,” he said.

It’s your baby

What kind of answer was this? Was it one of those “deep” responses that I wouldn’t understand until someone, preferably versed in philosophy, could translate it for me?

A few minutes into our meeting, I realized his statement was fairly straightforward. Few areas of operations are as subjective as H.R. What works for one organization, manager or employee doesn’t necessarily work for another. Therefore, it was my responsibility to first gather as much information on hiring as I could, rather than rely solely on his advice. Then, I should analyze the information and, along with the input of my team, shape it into guidelines that would best fit our specific needs. His advice was not the final word, it was a starting point.

Because of that experience, I am excited to present to you this month’s issue of Optometric Management, which is dedicated to H.R. Our expert authors have provided a wealth of guidelines and advice that would take years of experiences, some of them painful, to amass. We invite you to take this starting point, incorporate it into your practice, and then let us know what worked — and what didn’t — for you.

Don’t fret over exceptions

Through the years, I have had my share of hires who didn’t work out, including one who charged his honeymoon expenses to a company credit card. But that was a lesson learned long ago. What has far outweighed any negative experiences are the majority of times when my teammates tirelessly shared their expertise, accepted new responsibilities and raised the performance bar. I wish you the same good fortune in your H.R. ventures. And if you need advice, just don’t take mine. Take as much as you can find, beginning with this issue, and shape it into a program that meets your practice’s unique needs. OM