Dissing the dress code in veterinary practice

Dissing the dress code in veterinary practice

source-image
Mar 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

Q: I've addressed workplace attire at staff meetings and it's in the employee handbook, but it doesn't seem to stick. What do I do next?

"Employee appearance and personal expression are touchy subjects to manage, but the real issue here has to do with accountability and trust more than professionalism," says Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Chicago and a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board Member.

The practical response to your dilemma is the three-strike rule, McVey says. Speak to the fashion felon about their insubordinate behavior, and give them 30 days to get it right.

"If it happens again in 30 days, give them a second warning and another 30 days to comply. If it happens again before the 30-day period ends, go to step three—termination," he says.

This issue was covered by your employee handbook for a reason—the dress code is meant to be followed and is supposed to save you time by addressing simple rules so you don't have to on a daily basis. Hold your team accountable to these rules.

"What are they saying to you with their resistance?" McVey asks. "Typically, this type of blatant disregard of the rules is an expression of a lack of trust in leadership." If they don't share your practice's values about professionalism and are insubordinate at every turn, termination may be your best bet for your hospital to run smoothly.

Hot topics on dvm360

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.