Practice makes perfect
How often—and what—does your team practice? Do you get resistance or excitement regarding training sessions? Do senior staff members think they know everything they need to know to provide great care and service?
Try to stress to team members that showing up to work is a good start, but to really grow their skills, it's important to focus on continued improvement. Of course, you need to help by facilitating weekly staff meetings about what worked and what didn't; providing stand-alone training or practice sessions, perhaps a luncheon seminar; or giving team members access to outside continuing education programs.
Hospitals that excel in this area start with phase training programs from the minute a new employee arrives. They develop a culture of practice. Try to view your business team as a sports team, which practices regularly—often even daily.
Help get into the practice mode by developing a schedule that works for your group. You may choose to do something once a week or less frequently. The main point is that it's frequent and comprehensive. Practice, practice, practice should help build your hospital into a winning team. As the fellows on my hockey team like to say, "Winning is good. Losing is bad."
Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, is the president of The Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group, which owns and operates hospitals in Michigan and Ohio.