Managers' Retreat highlight: 3 reasons employees don't get things done

Managers' Retreat highlight: 3 reasons employees don't get things done

Each reason calls for a different response from you.
source-image
Sep 03, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

If you have a team member who's not completing an assigned task, it comes down to one of three reasons, says Shawn McVey, owner of Innovative Veterinary Management Solutions and a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member. Here are the three reasons employees don't get things done (they may or may not tell you in so many words):

1. "I didn't know I was supposed to do it."
Somehow a communication breakdown prevented the team member from understanding that you expected her to do the assigned job. Solution: Communicate your expectations—what do you expect the employee to do, when, and how often?

2. "I don't know how to do it."
Employees typically don't like to admit this shortcoming, but often what looks like failure or shirking is simply a lack of understanding. Solution: Train the team member step by step on how to complete the task, and monitor her performance until you're both confident in her knowledge.

3. "I don't want to do it."
Sometimes refusing to do a job is a passive-aggressive way of giving the boss the finger, McVey says. This is a deeper-rooted problem with attitude and insubordination. Solution: Disciplinary steps are the way to go. See the four strikes method for details.

Once you understand which of the three issues the employee is experiencing in her performance problems, you'll have a much better idea of how to remedy the situation. But remember, McVey says, especially if you're a doctor, many employees will never be able to perform veterinary tasks as well as you would. If they could, they would be you. So encourage employees to excel to the best of their abilities, but understand their limits, too.

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.