Understanding the Functions of Management

ORLANDO, Fla. — Management functions in O&P take on a number of
different roles, according to Russell Hornfisher, MBA, director of sales and
marketing for Becker Orthopedic, who discussed four of those roles –
hiring, training, coaching and firing – at the
American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists Annual Meeting and
Scientific Symposium

  Russell Hornfisher
  Russell Hornfisher

“Management is a function of human resources,” Hornfisher
said. “On the winning team, the leaders pass out the accolades to those
around them rather than taking it themselves.”

When it comes to hiring employees, he offered attendees some advice
regarding what questions are not only appropriate, but legal. For example, it
is illegal to ask questions regarding U.S. citizenship or even something as
seemingly innocent as personal hobbies.

“You can ask it if it is part of the job description,” he said
explaining how important it is to make sure that job descriptions are detailed
and will allow you to properly evaluate your job candidates. “Job
description and qualifications are very important. That’s what you have to
fall back on.”

He also offered advice to business owners and managers who have
troublesome employees: “What you have been, is what you’re going to

In dealing with situations where reprimands are necessary, Hornfisher
advised offering positive feedback with the negative and to make
“corrections in private; praise in public.”

“Learning requires making mistakes,” he said warning that
repeated problems need to be dealt with efficiently. “If it becomes a
pattern, [then] it is a problem.”

He urged attendees to investigate the problems as they arise. Measuring
performance more regularly could also combat these situations, he said.

“If you’re not measuring performance, you can’t manage
it,” he said.

He suggests meeting with employees once every quarter and not tying pay
increases to these reviews. Instead, review the quarterly information when it
is time to talk about pay changes.

“No one should be surprised when they get cut,” he said.
— by Jennifer Hoydicz

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