Today's Veterinary Business

AUG 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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58 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership The truth is, people don't leave poor jobs. They leave poor managers. Stellar employees leave because they just can't take it any- more. Most times, they've tried to bring the issues to your attention. Yet they can't make themselves heard. They eventually reach the point of no return and quit. Here are 10 suggestions to avoid hav- ing your employees reach that point. Don't Overwork Them Some staff members work well under pressure and show few signs of stress, but that situation doesn't necessarily mean that they're not feeling overwhelmed. The irony of productive and reliable workers is that they tend to always be the go-to people, so their plates keep filling up more and more. Excessive workload and long hours contribute to fatigue and burnout. Once employees have reached this stage, they often throw in the towel and decide to move on. According to a Stanford University study, productivity per hour decreases drastically for those who work more than 50 hours a week. By Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ 1 2 were hired, but they wonder why you don't trust them. If employees think you don't trust them to do their jobs correctly and completely, then what motiva- tion do they have to go above and beyond? Burying them in endless rules and changing policies can stifle their ability to find new and more efficient ways to do their jobs. Encourage Growth Speaking of growth, do you provide your staff with the oppor- tunity to improve their knowledge and skill set? Because they have a licens- ing requirement, doctors and nurses attend continuing educa- tion events. But what about your veterinary assistants, managers and receptionists? Any valuable team member can become more valuable by learning more. Receptionists can always learn more about communication and customer service. Assistants can always learn more about Fear Free restraint, efficiency and com- munication. Managers can always learn more about leadership, moti- vation and emotional intelligence. A great way to reinforce what 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 personal. Don't Push It Just because you're a work- aholic doesn't mean your staff is, too. Working hard is not the same as being a workaholic. Endlessly invading your employees' personal lives when a work-related issue crops up and expecting them to accept your calls isn't wise. Everybody needs time to recharge, reboot and recover. We all have things we want or need to do. If you're constantly barging in on your employees' free time, how can you expect them to perform at their highest level? Take a step back and allow your staff to have a life. Unless a true crisis has erupted, your "emergency" likely can wait until tomorrow. Don't Micromanage One of the most important duties a manager or a leader needs to do is find, interview and hire tal- ented people. Another important task is to then allow these people to do their jobs. Nothing is more aggravating to staff members than a micro- manager. Your employees passed the rigorous screening before they your employees have learned is to encourage them to share their newfound knowledge shortly after they return from a conference. Another way to train your staff is, of course, the classic "lunch and learn." Vendors and pharma- ceutical companies can provide great topics and speakers. Invite as regularly as possible. Show Appreciation Do your staff members feel genuinely appreciated? Have you done anything recently to show them your appreciation? Gratitude is one of the easi- est and least expensive ways to help employees feel valued. Yet according to Dr. Gary Chapman, co-author of "The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace," 70 percent of employees say they receive no praise or recognition at work. In addition, 64 percent of people who quit their job say they left primarily because they didn't feel appreciated. Yet their managers and leaders typically push back: "I tell them I appreciate them all the time!" Even if that were true, only 40 percent of your employees hear your verbal gratefulness. The remaining 60 per- cent speak a different "language" and therefore do not perceive your statements. Regularly connecting with each staff member on a personal level and checking on their thoughts, feelings and concerns can make a difference in how they feel. So, be approachable. Let your employees know — and truly mean it — that they can come to you if they need to talk about anything. Reward growth, achieve- ments and accomplished goals. Encourage your staff members to reach higher, and push them to be better. Time invested in staff is never time wasted. Hire Slowly Potential recruits can be so sparse that we often joke about hiring anybody who has a pulse. Sadly, we don't merely joke about it; we actually do it. Of course, some job markets 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. 4 6 5 3 Leadership EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

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