Too much gossiping?

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Feb 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

I just bought a practice, but I think the team wastes time gossiping too much. How do I change things around here?

Dr. Fred Metzger, DABVP, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Metzger Animal Hospital in State College, Penn., says this is an (unintentionally) funny question.

"When you're an associate, you don't realize this is a problem," Dr. Metzger says. "But the instant you take over a practice, it's a huge deal because labor is the biggest cost."

Dr. Metzger's first piece of advice is to not "rock the boat until you stabilize the boat."

Make sure you take the time to build a bond with your staff before addressing issues such as staff gossiping. Once you finish your purchase of the practice, immediately start winning over the staff. Take them bowling or have a staff party to build some camaraderie. If you don't win over the staff, the practice won't be successful, says Dr. Metzger.

"Find out who the players are in the practice. Determine what staff members you might need to replace," Dr. Metzger says. "Take six months to figure out who's doing the job and who isn't. People who aren't doing the job? Let them go and promote the people who are."