Does your Office Manager have the right stuff? Were they hired for their managerial qualities or something else (tenure, loyalty, a CDA who can’t do clinical work any more? ). What are the qualities an excellent OM should have?
Professionalism – they represent your practice. How do they dress? What is their demeanor in and out of the practice? Are they reactive or flippant? Do they speak respectfully, maintain a calm demeanor and carry themselves with a certain gravitas?
Leadership – are they someone you and the rest of your staff can trust, look to for answers, and are they able to engage, motivate and inspire others?
Communication – I hesitated not putting this one first. Are they able to resolve conflict, explain expectations, not take things personally, deal with issues rather than personalities. Do they lay blame, are they sarcastic, do they make assumptions? Are they able to communicate without tears and in a professional manner. Can they explain what they need and make requests, are they able to say what needs to be said? Communication style, technique and ability can be morale makers or munchers!
Organization – exemplary organizational skills, attention to detail and the ability to be an ‘air traffic controller’ are essential.
The ‘right stuff’ Office Manager should manifest all four of these skills. If they don’t, you can fix it by either replacing your manager with someone who does have these skills, or provide your OM with training and/or coaching to help them develop these skills. Managers are not born, they are grown. If you want to keep the manager you have, make sure they have the resources they need to do the job right.