Office Manager Compared To Personnel Director?

Question:

In the medical office where I am the Front Office Manager, we took the last few physicians from another office. The main doctor decided to hire their office manager as a personnel director in our office.

I was wondering if you could distinguish the difference between the general office manager and a personnel director. When the new Personnel Director was explaining to me what he does, it seemed to be the same things I do as an Office Manager. Is this something that I should just speak directly with the doctor about? I think we are all a little confused!!

Signed,

Confused


Answer:

Dear Confused:

Yes, you definitely should meet with the main doctor about the situation. However, I think it might be good to suggest a meeting with you, the doctor AND the personnel director, so all of the concerns are in the open and everyone hears the same things.

Consider having a flipchart or a handout with space for notes, so the work of each of you can be recorded and discussed. You may also want to add some structure to the meeting by getting a list from your colleague about all the tasks he has done then add to it the tasks you have done. In the meeting those tasks could be grouped and divided between the two of you.

You ask the differences between the two titles. The difference is what your office decides to make it! Generally a Personnel Director is responsible for hiring, training, coordinating the required administrative paperwork, ensuring payroll and similar tasks. An office manager makes assignments, inspects or evaluates work, assists employees and ensures that the daily work of the office is done in order to serve customers (patients).

In most cases the Office Manager is working closely with employees while the Personnel Director is involved with paperwork, documentation, submitting forms, etc.

But, it takes a good sized office to require both of those positions. So, either of those positions could incorporate the tasks of the other–and often does.

That’s why I think it is crucial to work this out so both of you know what is expected of you. It sounds as though the other person was brought into the work of your office without any real plans for what he would do. He is probably as confused as you are, so don’t assume he is confident about what he should be doing.

Your only solution is to either work between the two of you to determine your work scope or talk to the doctor and find out his or her intentions for the two of you.

Best wishes as you deal with this situation. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.