Only 21 percent of practices conduct performance evaluations, says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, CVPM, a consultant with Brakke Consulting Inc. in Dallas. Yet your success in practice largely depends on how well you manage people. And performance evaluations let employees know how they're doing, so they—and you—can improve.
The greatest motivation you can offer is something new and challenging to complete. So give your team members jobs that are just beyond their comfort zone, and they'll enjoy a sense of accomplishment when they complete the difficult new task.
Occasionally, even the best employee has a lapse in judgment. And lapses have consequences. For example, you may have reached into an empty tray of distemper vaccines on a busy Saturday, or found the practice shorthanded one afternoon.
A client sent us a thank-you card for our prompt, undivided attention and praised our team members for their kindness and courtesy. I'd like to post the note on the bulletin board in the reception area. Assuming the client gives permission, is there a downside?
You and your staff members likely make tough ethical decisions every day. Yet only 43 percent of respondents to a recent survey by VetMedTeam.com, an online resource and team training center, say their practice teams discuss ethics.
Growing up in the South, I quickly learned that there were certain subjects one simply should not talk about in mixed company--religion, politics, and money. There are similar touchy topics in business, such as pay raises and compensation plans, staff disagreements, a desire to make important changes in the practice, and disagreement about management styles. Although we'd like to avoid these topics, they need to be discussed.
The trite phrase, "personality conflicts," allows key issues to be ignored or defined out of existence in daily operations. The term could mean the practice did not hire for "team fit," or they did not establish a "safe-haven" environment when establishing behavior expectations.