Reality check for a receptionist
Q: Our receptionist is excellent at her job, and the clients love her—when she's here. She's been with us for less than a year, but she's frequently absent and still asked for a raise. So we switched her wages from hourly to salary, but now she wants even more money and doesn't want to work Saturdays. Am I being taken advantage of?
"I've been down this path before," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, president of The Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group that owns and operates hospitals in Michigan. "We all value a good team member, but there are many aspects to being a good employee. While this receptionist appears to have some good skills, this doesn't make up for her taking advantage of the salaried position."
Dr. Rothstein recommends offering her what you think is a fair hourly rate, this way you can feel good about what you're paying and yet be able to offer the flexible schedule she desires. "My guess is she'll have fewer absences under the hourly pay system," he says.