A good leader creates more leaders, not followers. As a Veterinary practice manager, it is your job to ensure synergy among staff to create a successful, enjoyable workplace. Practice managers tasks include but are not limited to, overseeing daily operations, hiring of staff, billing, inventory, and record keeping.
Ways to Improve workspace
Creating a work environment that keeps their staff happy is directly related to a profitable business. When your staff is happy, they are more willing to go the extra mile which will set your practice apart from competitors. Having monthly staff meetings will help keep goals fresh, and set realistic ways to achieve them.
A proper hierarchy is also important when it comes to a positive workforce. Not everyone can be in charge, and nor should they be. That will only lead to confusion and lack of order. Keeping an obvious chain of command will segregate duties and allow for the proper channels to be accessed when needed.
Practice managers should be updating and implementing protocols. Make sure you are following the protocols and demonstrating your commitment to them. Lead by setting an example, and creating incentive amongst your staff.
In addition, you should be able to delegate tasks to the proper channels. These tasks should go to those who will be able to handle them efficiently. This will sharpen their abilities and hopefully teach others to strengthen their own. By doing so each team member can not only understand what is expected of them but also manage their expectations.
Find resolution in conflicts
Veterinary practice managers should not be afraid of confrontation. Conflict is a natural part of any workplace and confronting it is important in the growth of each practice. In order to find solutions, the practice manager needs to get to the bottom of the problem.
Also, it’s important to hold your staff accountable for their actions. Mistakes allow us to grow and truthfully provide the best learning experience so the practice manager cannot be afraid to address them. You also need to express that mistakes are okay and bound to happen. The most important takeaway is that the team accepts and learns from their mishaps.
Practice managers are often in charge of hiring and assigning titles to their employees. It’s important to pick someone who is the best fit for the position and not someone who has been working there the longest. This exemplifies that hard work pays off and that each team member is offered the same opportunity regardless of their time with the company.
Tips on improving workspace
Follow Mission Statements
Mission statements are a necessary tool for every company to identify. Having the same core values, and goals keep the entire staff on the same page. If these values are not demonstrated by each team member then a toxic culture is likely to occur.
Reward and Raise
Rewarding team members for their contributions can encourage the same work ethic to continue. Team rewards show appreciation, and also give the team members a break from the chaos that is the veterinary practice. It is difficult for friends and family outside the field to understand where our feelings may be coming from. Your team members and coworkers often become a source of support.
So by giving rewards in the forms of team dinners, game nights, employee of the month, lottery prizes, etc. you are also giving the opportunity for bonds to be strengthened. Whenever possible, raises should be given to those who deserve it. They should not be based on the longevity of their position but on merit.
Offering continuing education is another way to show leadership and appreciation for your team members education. Veterinary medicine is constantly changing with newer improved methods of action coming about on a daily basis. In order to keep up with this, LVTs and DVMs are required to obtain continuing education credits, but many team members find it difficult to find the time to do so.
Knowing the latest protocols, and techniques promote a competitive workplace, so you should show your team that the practice truly cares about staying current, and can offer the team ways to obtain CE.
Promote Healthy Culture
A culture where employees can talk freely and be elevated is the type of environment that promotes a prosperous business. Favoritism must be avoided as it can create unfair expectations of others, and animosity amongst staff.
Privacy should be of utmost importance and respected when it comes to each employee. When an employee goes to their manager with a problem or initiates an issue that needs to be addressed it must be kept between them. The biggest and easiest way to lose respect for your coworkers is by betraying that trust.
Make sure you are also making your team members mental and physical help your number one concern. Burnout is a huge problem in the veterinary industry and it’s imperative that your team is given the proper tools to avoid it, and are able to nurture it when it does happen.
An efficient workplace starts at the top. The leaders must continuously set a good example and positive outlook for the rest of the staff to follow. Most veterinary practices are close-knit so remember your overall attitude is contagious. Therefore make sure your attitude is one that you want others to portray and would want to work with.
Jaclyn is a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) who has a bachelors degree in journalism. Combining her two interests of writing, and veterinary medicine is a true passion. Jaclyn has already created her own blog called The Four Legged Nurse (@thefourleggednurse) and looks forward to contributing to I Love Veterinary! Jaclyn is blessed with two children, a wonderful husband, and four devoted fur babies. In her free time she loves spending time with her family, reading, and riding horses.