Whats up with WhatsApp

A couple of months ago a practice owner asked me to join the practice ‘WhatsApp” group. I laughed while replying with one word – NO.

To be honest I thought he was joking. Turned out he was not.

I then had to spend time explaining how I was there to help with the big picture and the projects. I do not need to know when the printer runs out of ink, or if a light bulb has blown.

At the time I was, and still am anti WhatsApp groups. I cant stand them. Since becoming a Mum, I have discovered that people love a group. I have so many that are muted as I can’t be dealing with my phone going off constantly, and of course it is rude to leave! I only have one group that is active now and that is for my swimming mums. A grand total of 4 of us who are all very busy, so it is not annoying (and when they do message it is usually very positive and makes me smile).

Many practices now have these groups so not only are you disturbed in the day by emails but also messages too. Should your team be on there phones during work? Should phones be in a clinical environment? No and No.

What bothers me even more so about WhatsApp messages is the disrespect that it has for ‘working hours’.

Dentists – owners and associates you are self employed. The team are not, therefore it is unacceptable to be sending messages to the team out of work hours – and expecting a response.

It is unhealthy communications such as this that cause low morale, low productivity and causes huge problems with team members in practices and with their relationships at home.

Partners, husbands, wives and friends will all say to your team members not to reply, not to look, to mute the conversation. You will have one or 2 in your team that cant help but look, become stressed and then feel bad for replying.

Those who do not reply then feel guiltily. Yes that’s right GUILTY.

They have so many questions running through their mind such as:

What right do you have to make them feel such a huge mix of emotions in or out of work?

The team members then have to spend more of their personal time talking /arguing with their friends, partners, husbands and wives about what they should do about this and it ends with a crappy evening for all except the sender.

Believe it or not practices are delivering important communication by WhatsApp now!

I learnt many many years ago to turn off a noise that notifies you of an email as it is unproductive, and I keep my phone on silent most of the time too.

I turn my phone to aeroplane mode every night at 8pm (it’s a quicker way to turn it back on it in the morning), sometimes earlier. There is nothing that cannot wait. I tell a lie there, I turned it back on Monday night to message Michael about GOT as it was amazing! But within minutes it was off again.

I digress.

If you want a team who are:

Then stop sending them messages out of hours. If there is an emergency surely you can go old skool and ring someone?

If you had to pay them for their time to read, stress, reply and stress further then I am sure you would not be sending the employed team messages.

Self employed dentists and hygienists / therapists  – set up a new group and eat your heart out!











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