Q&A: Make work less miserable

Our team members seem to view work as 'just a job.' How can I create a more fun and energetic -- but still productive -- atmosphere?
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Mar 22, 2010

Make the work more meaningful and rewarding for team members, and they’ll be happier, more energetic, and more productive than they are now, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Craig Woloshyn, owner of Sun Dog Veterinary Consulting in Custer, S.D. How do you do that? Step aside and let team members perform more of the clinic duties.

If team members loaf through work like zombies, it’s because you taught them to wait for your sometimes muddled instructions before they perform any tasks. Delegate everything except the essential chores you must do as a doctor (diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery, chart), and let team members learn to do everything else. At first, you might want to continue doing tasks like reading fecal samples. But learning is the path to achievement, and achievement is the path to workplace satisfaction. And satisfied employees are more fun, energetic, and productive.

Because doctors are composed of equal parts ego and hubris, it’s a rare doctor who will embrace the idea that others in the clinic can do things as well or better than he or she can. If you can get past your ego, you can succeed. If not—well, it's just a job.