Employees don’t Know How They are Supposed to Do their Work and What to Do about it - TEAMSPIRE

Employees don’t Know How They are Supposed to Do their Work and What to Do about it

25 May 2019 Employee Engagement


For poor employee performance, this is a common observation that employers offer:

“They don’t know how to do their work.”

Well, this could be true to some extent.

But the question is how they are supposed to know how to do their job?

Most employers take it for granted that employees are supposed to just know how they are supposed to carry out their different duties.

When they fail to do it well, employers are shocked.

The reason is that many employers never spend time and energy in helping their employees learn and understand how to do their job well.

Let’s understand the problem a bit in detail so that we can arrive at an appropriate solution:

The Problem

The reason why this problem arises in many clinics is that everybody maintains complete silence on this subject.

How employees should do their job and how to improve it is hardly discussed.

Most of the time, employers offer general and vague criticism about their work like ‘you don’t even know how to handle a phone call or write a report’. This is not helpful to an employee, is it?

There’s no discussion but just criticism.

In the mind of their minds, this is what the employer and the employees think:


  • How can I tell my boss that I don’t know how to do this task?
  • I know my boss may think that this is not the right way to do this task but I don’t know any other way.
  • I know I need help but whom to ask?
  • If I say that I don’t know how to do this, I will look dumb before others.
  • If I say that I don’t know how to do this, my boss will think I am not good enough.
  • If I say that I don’t know how to do this, my fellow team members will not respect me.

And so on and so forth…


  • They should know their job. What are they there for?
  • If they don’t know how to do their job, why are there here?
  • If they don’t know how to do their job, they should find a way.
  • If they don’t know how to do their work, what can I do?
  • I am so busy, how can I teach everybody?

And so on and so forth…

As you can see, the problem lies in how nobody addresses this problem or discusses it openly. Therefore, there is no proactive action that is seen on either side.

Everybody is quiet on this problem and employers tend to take it for granted that their employees are supposed to know how to do their work.

However, this is not a proactive approach. A proactive approach would mean that you would devise solutions to help your employees find ways to understand and improve their work.

The Solutions

Rather than trying to do the damage control afterwards, it is advisable that you implement the following solutions for your employees and prevent some of the problems:

1. Focus on Onboarding

Catch them young!

In this case, catch them when they enter the system!

The best time to orient your employees to do their work well is at the time of their entry into the system.

But not many dermatologists avail the benefits that onboarding offers.

Here’s how you can tap into the potential of employee onboarding:

  • When new employees join your clinic, they will have a number of queries regarding their job. They will not know how they should go about their work.


  • This is the right time to provide the inputs regarding how they should do their work. You can use this opportunity to orient and train your new employees to help them understand how they should do their work.

  • You should put in place a robust system of onboarding so that new employees get in-depth training and orientation.


  • There should be clear-cut onboarding program at your clinic for all your new employees. It should follow a set time line and a well-defined process.


  • The onboarding program should expose new employees to everything- the work culture, the processes and the organizational values.


  • If you put in place a great onboarding program at your clinic, you can make sure that your new employees know exactly how they are supposed to work.


  • These new employees are going to be the foundation of a great team in the future. Therefore, onboarding is the key to enabling employees to understand how they are supposed to do their work!

Also Read –  To Build Powerful Clinic Culture, Create a Powerful Onboarding Process

2. Provide Regular Training

What’s the surest way to ensure that employees learn how to do their work?

Yes, you are right. It’s training.

However, not many dermatologists seriously invest in training.

Most of the time, it’s a one-day or two-day training in a year and that’s all.

However, training is supposed to be regular so that it can create an impact.

Here’s how you can use training to help your employees learn how to do their work:

  • Make sure that you provide different kinds of training to your staff. It could be technical, life and soft skills, motivation and leadership, goal setting, problem solving etc.


  • You can provide different kinds of training to different cadre of employees you have. For instance, you can provide leadership training to the top few employees who have higher responsibility.


  • You need to ensure that such training is focused and specific to your domain of dermatology practice and clinic.


  • You also need to ensure that such training takes place on a regular basis. Continuous inputs are required to make a decisive difference in the way your employees perform.


  • You can provide constant inputs and insights related to motivation and engagement through Teamspire. It can help your employees remain motivated and engaged so that they can perform at their best.
  • 04-Empower-Your-Staff

3. Create an Employee Reference Manual

At times, it’s embarrassing for an individual to admit that he/she does not know even a basic aspect of his/her work.

It’s even more embarrassing to ask for help.

What’s the way out then?

All you got to do is put together an employee reference manual, a sort of a handbook for employees to refer to.

Not clear how it can help?

Here’s how you can benefit from it:

  • Employees need a ready reference for their daily tasks. For this, you need to provide a reference manual for them.


  • Such a reference manual should contain norms related to every event and process. This will enable them to discover answer to their queries without having to ask anyone.


  • They can take it home or keep on their desktop or mobiles and refer to it any time when they are stuck.


  • What kind of help will it provide? Well, let’s say, an employee incurred an expense for office work and does not know what the accounting procedure is. The problem is that employees at times hesitate because it’s a small sum. However, in accounting matters, the small or big amount does not matter. So if they have a manual, they can see the accounting rules and follow them.


  • In the same way, there can be general guidelines in the handbook regarding how to talk to patients on the phone or how to counsel patients in person. This can provide them the necessary clarity regarding their job description.


  • There can be a section on troubleshooting for every chapter. A detailed guideline regarding what to do when something goes wrong can be truly useful. This will help many employees who don’t know what to do when patients get angry with them on the phone or in person. They will either freeze or panic. Such a manual can provide tips regarding how to handle such situations.


  • In short, if the question is how employees should do their work, an employee reference manual is the answer!


Let’s assume that employee don’t know how to do their work. But pause for a moment and think: who is entrusted with the responsibility of guiding and helping them perform better?

Of course, you have the experience and expertise which can help them in doing their work well.

The only issue is that the knowledge and insights you have should disseminate to your employees.

Moreover, they should have different ways like training and reference manuals to guide them regarding how to improve their work.

Hence, if employees don’t know how to do their work, it’s not the end of the world. It’s an opportunity to work with them, help them and enable them to discover their hidden potential!

Follow the strategies mentioned in this blog and empower your employees to perform at their best!

Parting Note

Did you find the blog insightful? Do share your valuable feedback. We would love to hear from you.

You can post your feedback in the comments section.

Have you already implemented some of these ideas? We would be happy to know more about your case studies.

Do you have any suggestions regarding blog topics? We would be glad to explore those topics that you suggest!

Sharing new ideas with others is a joy, isn’t it? Do share this blog with your friends and colleagues on your social media account!

If you have something to say in private, leave a message on my social media account. I will definitely get back!

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Infographics –  Employees Don’t Know How They are Supposed to Do their Work and What to Do about it

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