Live from CVC Central: Can't we all just get along?

Understand the root of conflict between team members in order to put a stop to it.
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Aug 25, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

If you're the manager of a veterinary practice, you probably deal with your fair share of squabbles between your employees. According to Dr. Jeff Werber, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and speaker at this year's CVC Central, the issues that cause the most conflict between members are:

Scheduling. Who is scheduled when and who's covering for whom?

Job duties. Who has what responsibilities?

Advancement. When you promote one team member, you'll ruin another team member's day. Dr. Werber says you can't make everyone happy.

Raises. Despite what you think, Dr. Werber says all your team members know how much the others make.

And these are the common causes of conflict between associates:

Scheduling. Who is working when?

Cases. In a production-based environment, Dr. Werber says, it's not unusual for associates to cherry-pick cases that produce the most revenue.

Seniority. "But I've worked here longer than her."

Salary. Just like your team members, all of your associates know what the other associates earn, Dr. Werber says.

According to Dr. Werber, the key to dealing with all these issues is to keep the lines of communication open. Staff meetings are critical. Gather the gang weekly to discuss any grumblings you might be hearing about. Keep the reprimands general. The culprits will know who they are so there's no need to single them out.

If that doesn't work, hold private meetings with each employee involved and put an end to the bickering. And above all don't single out an employee for doing something wrong in front of another team member or a client.