Team at work

Team at work

Sep 01, 2007

Sheila Grosdidier
Why do some of my team members seem to avoid work while others are so dedicated to it?

There are more people in the work force now than ever before—which also means there are more less-than-stellar employees out there, too. Employers need to adjust to this burgeoning labor pool. "Many employees today aren't well trained, aren't coached effectively, or aren't working in an environment geared to the changing needs of veterinary practice," says Sheila Grosdidier, RVT, a consultant with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. So if you have a team member who's not living up to your expectations, first think about whether you gave her the tools she needs to meet those expectations.

Did she receive appropriate training and development? Did you hire right for the position or could the employee be more effective in another post in your practice? If you've done everything you can to prepare the team member for the position—and it's still not working—you may need to encourage her to seek employment elsewhere.

Think about whether you need to raise the bar on your recruiting, interviewing, and hiring processes. Employees with excellent skills and a strong commitment to quality are out there, Grosdidier says—but they're hard to find. Once you've hoisted your standards, establish consistent training and development procedures and make sure you offer competitive compensation and benefits. "You don't have to settle for a warm body," Grosdidier says. "While the labor market has changed, there are still ways to ensure a high-quality team."

And there are countless upsides to making investments in team development. If you focus on becoming the employer of choice by offering favorable compensation, effective training, and a positive practice environment, one day you'll look around and realize that everyone at your practice works.