Leadership

Filter your applicant pool

Take Charge

A structured hiring process and adjustments made inside the practice can be big factors in reducing employee turnover.

As I write this, Indeed.com shows over 40 active job postings for veterinary receptionists, technicians and assistants in greater Charleston, South Carolina. All the employers essentially are looking for the same applicant. Frustration with short staffing and turnover can be felt at times in any practice, even those with better-than-average employee satisfaction rates. The reality […]

Watch and learn

Practice Smarter

Observing what happens in the exam room, possibly through videotaping, can improve communication, customer service and patient care.

What does an effective exam room visit look like in your veterinary practice? Ideally, the client does not have to wait for the appointment. During her visit, she is educated about all she needs to do to provide optimum care for her pet. Appropriate services are rendered and the pet appears to have had a […]

How is your hospital’s culture

A veterinary team’s attitudes, values, goals and practices go a long way in building a great organization.

I was asked during a job interview, “As a hospital owner and practicing veterinarian, what was your most difficult daily responsibility?” Without hesitation, I replied, “Maintaining the hospital culture.” During my tenure as a hospital owner and managing DVM, I would not have always replied this way. My appreciation of the value of positive culture […]

It takes a village to serve a client

Develop a dream team within and outside your practice to extend veterinarian capacity.

The appointment book is already filled when the practice opens its doors. The phones are ringing. The receptionists are squeezing in double-booked appointments and referring others. The practice and its veterinarians are in high demand. Sounds like a good problem to have, doesn’t it? However, at the end of the day, after the double-booked appointments, […]

Silence the rumor mill

Workplace gossip can be harmful, so know how to control it.

“Maria’s skirt is awfully short, isn’t it? And she sure doesn’t have the figure to pull that off!” “You’re not going to believe what I heard about our new client.” “Did you hear who is getting divorced? You’re not going to believe what happened!” “We’re not getting bonuses this year because of what happened between […]

Do the math

Getting Technical

Proper inventory management is more than just tracking products that come in the door and go out. Sloppy recordkeeping and poor decision making can be costly.

Inventory management is a challenge for most veterinary practices. How much is enough, and how much is too much? Managers and nurses spend a great deal of time in this area, whether tackling the job themselves or managing others who do it. Wouldn’t it be great if the efforts were rewarded? They can be by […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

How #MeToo affects you, too

Sexual harassment in the workplace must be dealt with promptly, fairly and firmly.

The #MeToo movement started last fall with claims of sexual harassment and rape against movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Before long, dark shadows were cast over other powerful men — from entertainment personalities Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Russell Simmons and James Franco to politicians Al Franken and Roy Moore. Although any accusation typically gets more publicity […]

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