Working alongside a spouse isn’t always wedded bliss, especially when one is a veterinarian and the other an administrator.
Dr. Jill and her husband, Jack, launched Happy Critters Animal Clinic right after getting married. Because money was in short supply, Jack filled in as manager. What was supposed to be a short-term part-time solution became a long-term full-time job. A decade later, Jack and Dr. Jill are not doing well as a couple and […]
Friends in high places
Veterinary clinics are not immune to workplace favoritism. Playing favorites with co-workers might not be illegal, but it can hurt morale and create resentment.
Here are a few comments heard when I asked veterinary nurses, receptionists and associate veterinarians if they had encountered favoritism at their practice: “Favoritism is a way of life here.” “Favoritism is an everyday thing.” “I suffer daily from not being a favorite.” What is favoritism, and is it even legal? If a practice manager […]
The art and science of follow-ups
What you call a return visit and how you charge for it are up to you, but its importance needs to be clearly communicated to the client.
Clients generally hate paying for rechecks after a medical procedure. They think they have paid (too much) already and that your time, staff and supplies should be free from here on out. Conveying the importance of rechecks to clients can be difficult. The veterinary profession has no universal guidelines for when they are needed, whether […]
Money is wasted during each minute of a meandering back-office meeting. You need to set a tight schedule, establish ground rules and be selective with the invitations.
Staff meetings, department meetings, management meetings, lunch and learns. Veterinary professionals are not immune to the meetings epidemic that plagues many companies. Meetings are often a necessary evil, but many of them are unexciting, unfocused and unproductive. We rarely stop to think about the real cost of meetings because, after all, the attendees are clocked […]
Why do team members leave you?
No one wants to work for an overbearing, ungracious boss. At the same time, a toxic co-worker can turn a great employee into an ex-employee.
Years of schooling. Years of practice. Years of hiring and firing. Yet, many hospital owners and managers haven’t learned a minute’s worth of staff management skills. Meanwhile, statistics show that 1 in 5 of your employees is actively looking for new employment behind your back. You might, consciously or not, tell yourself that it’s nothing […]
Patients and the referring hospital both can benefit when a general practitioner partners with a veterinary specialist.
Veterinary generalists often brag that their job is more difficult than that of their human medicine counterparts. And it’s true: Over the course of one day, generalists might practice internal medicine, dentistry, dermatology, surgery, ophthalmology, cardiology, oncology and radiology. They manage weight-loss programs, cognitive dysfunction and osteoarthritis. They advise on husbandry, behavior and contagious diseases. […]
12 ways to motivate millennials
When managing younger employees, a nontraditional approach may be better.
If you think your 18- to 40-year-old employees — aka millennials, aka Generation Y — are lazy, uncommitted and entitled, then either you hired the wrong recruits or you haven’t found the right way to motivate them. Here are 12 ideas to motivate your Gen Y team members. They apply to receptionists and technicians as […]