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Kellie G. Olah, SPHR, SHRM-CP

Column:H.R. Huddle

Kellie G. Olah is the practice management and human resources consultant at Veterinary Business Advisors. The company provides legal, human resources and practice management services to veterinarians nationwide. Olah is a certified veterinary practice manager, a certified veterinary business leader and a nationally certified senior professional in human resources.

Kellie G. Olah is the practice management and human resources consultant at Veterinary Business Advisors. The company provides legal, human resources and practice management services to veterinarians nationwide. Olah is a certified veterinary practice manager, a certified veterinary business leader and a nationally certified senior professional in human resources.

diverse

Diversity Pays Off

H.R. Huddle

The veterinary profession has made great strides in employing women and millennials, but determined practice leaders can accomplish much more.

Veterinary practices reap numerous benefits when employing a workforce diverse in age, gender, and racial or ethnic background. These team members, naturally enough, tend to brainstorm a greater range of solutions to problems and demonstrate deeper creativity and innovation in managing and growing the practice. A McKinsey study — visit mck.co/35JFSKP — determined that businesses […]

pay raise

What About a Raise?

H.R. Huddle

A request for a pay hike can come at any time. Employees must be prepared when asking for one and managers need to know how to respond.

Veterinary practices, like many other businesses, often award pay raises during annual employee reviews. The timing is logical because it’s a moment for performance-related feedback. But what if you’re a practice team member who thinks you deserve a raise outside of the normal timeframe? For example, you’ve taken on extra duties during the pandemic and […]

exit interview

The Final Analysis

H.R. Huddle

When done properly, exit interviews encourage departing employees to give valuable feedback and inform practice leaders about underlying issues.

Among the most valuable assets at your veterinary practice are your employees. A team member’s permanent departure can present both a challenge for a clinic as well as a silver-lining opportunity for management to gather insights through an exit interview. To help your practice extract maximum value from the situation, I’ll address the who, what, […]

health

Who Calls the Shots?

Take Charge

Veterinary practices have some leeway but must follow the law when they seek to influence employee health.

Few people would object if their employer offered them free gym memberships or voluntary access to a smoking-cessation program. Their reactions might be quite different if certain health benchmarks or controls were made mandatory. All this raises the question of when an employer can require someone to get a vaccine, for example, or stop smoking, […]

work-life

Find a Happy Medium

H.R. Huddle

Some people are career-oriented while others place greater value on time away from work. Practice leaders can support both.

We have all heard about work-life balance. Over the past few years, though, a new phrase has been tossed into the mix: work-life integration. Is there a difference, or has the old phrase been given a fresher name? The short answer is that the idea of work-life balance has evolved into the more holistic concept […]

mental health

You can help

H.R. Huddle

Recognizing signs of mental distress in team members is the first step in getting them the assistance they might urgently need.

On the day your practice hired Maria as a veterinary nurse, you were thrilled. Not only did Maria have plenty of experience, but she was compassionate and caring, too. A win-win. Nowadays, though, you notice that Maria is on edge much of the time, experiencing what seem to be panic attacks. Some days her anxiety […]

employee benefits

Prized perks

H.R. Huddle

Team members and job candidates desire more than a paycheck. Benefits such as flexible schedules, paid CE and mentoring can produce happier employees.

Team members and job candidates desire more than a paycheck. Benefits such as flexible schedules, paid CE and mentoring can produce happier employees. Veterinary practices have found that they need to make the workplace as appealing as possible if they want to recruit and retain quality team members. In the past, clinics could simply advertise […]

employment laws

Your legal responsibilities

H.R. Huddle

As employment laws change or are enacted, practice owners and managers need to be cognizant of all the twists and turns. An array of online resources is available to explain the details, or you might want to consult an attorney.

Keeping up with evolving employment-related legislation can be difficult for small business owners, and COVID-19 made the situation even more problematic. As laws containing new and sometimes confusing information are rapidly passed, a veterinary practice owner’s compliance with the legislation might lag, which can have consequences as serious as litigation. As a general approach, gathering […]

positive

Proof positive

H.R. Huddle

Workplaces thrive in a culture of gratitude and when teamwork and collaboration are encouraged.

Studies have shown that positive leadership leads to positive work environments. The concept is so logical that you probably don’t need to review stacks of employee survey results to accept the notion that leadership has a real impact on work culture. Just as negative people can create a negative work environment, positive leaders can create […]

new hire

Bad hire or bad hiring?

H.R. Huddle

Be honest with yourself. Did you rush the job candidate through the interview? Did you miss any warning signs? Did you quiz the references? Does your onboarding and training program need an overhaul?

After you spend time and money advertising for job candidates and interviewing them — and then selecting someone you believed would be a great addition to your veterinary practice team — it can be quite disheartening when the new hire just isn’t working out. You think back through the hiring process, the resume that showed […]

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