Columns

Get the best out of your team

Take Charge

Take short, focused steps to shape the desired habits and behaviors of employees.

My attitude and energy toward managing employees can ebb and flow as quickly as the tides, depending on the degree of heat I might be feeling from the perpetual daily fires. At my worst, I am angered by apathy or pettiness and wonder why people can’t just show up, do their jobs and get along. […]

It’s your call

Talk the Talk

Delivering exceptional phone service can make the difference between a pet owner who agrees to book an appointment and one who gets a quick answer and hangs up.

Callers begin to make assessments about a veterinary hospital based on the telephone interaction with team members. These conversations can easily influence the decision to book an appointment. This is especially true when pet owners who aren’t established clients call to inquire about services and fees. Since the prices of routine services are likely to […]

Hidden talent

Diversity Toolbox

With minimal effort, you can act affirmatively to increase diversity in your applicant pool.

I attend many meetings on diversity throughout the year. Most often, the meetings focus on sociological concepts, critical race theory and cultural trends. This information is critical to understanding larger diversity issues, but sometimes it misses the mark in terms of what people really need to know on the ground about how to “do” diversity. […]

Break the impasse

H.R. Huddle

Know what to do when employees refuse to sign a disciplinary notice.

You created disciplinary policies and procedures that are clear, fair and approved by your attorney. You carefully document misconduct and poor performance, and you discuss the acts with all relevant parties. But then an employee throws a curve ball by refusing to sign a disciplinary notice. You really want the signature as proof of the […]

Divide and conquer

Constructive Criticism

Keeping cats and dogs as far apart as possible in the hospital will go a long way toward securing more feline appointments.

Whether you are a dog lover or a cat lover, you would agree that routine veterinary care is integral to maintaining the health of both. However, cats are a substantial minority of veterinary visitors. One of most easily identifiable reasons for their absence is in-clinic anxiety, an issue easily addressed during construction of a clinic […]

Connect with clients through stories

Socially Acceptable

Compelling and personalized narratives of positive or 
negative outcomes can serve as calls to action for pet owners.

With so much access to technology, pet owners of all ages and backgrounds are presented with more marketing messages today than ever before. Whether these come as 30-second commercials playing before a YouTube video, pop-up advertisements on a computer screen or traditional highway billboards, differentiating which messages truly matter and which are cookie-cutter promotions becomes […]

A better way to budget bonuses

Take Charge

Are you looking for a bonus pay system that is fair and sustainable? Start by incentivizing performance and encouraging cost savings.

When bonus pay becomes an end-of-year entitlement instead of a reward for a job well done and motivator for continued improvement, it’s no longer a bonus; it’s a gift. This year, consider an alternative program 
that is lucrative for hard-working employees and protects practice profitability. A core value of the hospital I manage is to […]

A successful building project starts with you

Constructive Criticism

Know what you want in a veterinary hospital, understand what you can actually afford, do your research before you hire a builder, and then show disciplined involvement.

So, you’re ready to build the veterinary hospital of your dreams or make the upgrades you’ve been mulling for years. Congratulations! Now the big question: How do you get started? It all begins with an objective vision, a subjective dream, and a practical and viable plan. Any construction endeavor is a game of risk management. […]

Scratch that strategy

Selling Points

Your approach to promoting flea and tick medications needs to evolve, just like the preventives have.

From the method of administration to the efficacy to the near immediate kill rate, advancements in flea and tick medications over the past 25 years will impress anyone in the medical and scientific worlds. But are pet owners just as impressed? Do they realize what the veterinary world gets so excited about? I would venture […]

The war on feline wellness

Fearless

Learn to reclaim your patients (and their owners) in three easy steps.

The U.S. cat population has risen by several million over the past five years, according to several studies. However, the number of feline veterinary visits is declining and nearly three times as many cats, as compared to dogs, did not receive any veterinary care in the past year. This is an incredibly disturbing trend that […]

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