Today's Veterinary Business

DEC 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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43 December 2018/January 2019 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM strategizing how to cope with or avoid harassment. A 2015 study of the cost of ha- rassment and bullying in U.S. higher education found that employees who experience harassment and earn $50,000 a year lose 4.34 weeks of productivity at a cost of $4,530. A 2014 literature review found a relationship between occupational health disparities and harassment, bullying, discrimination and abuse. The literature also revealed that such activities can trigger post-trau- matic stress disorder, anxiety, de- pression and poor job performance, among other symptoms. These health outcomes worsen when one looks at the data by gender and race, as the relation- ship between harassment and discrimination tends to be a close one. Women and people of color typically experience higher rates of workplace harassment and have higher incidences of work-related health disparities. Finally, the presence of work- place harassment is predictive of lower job satisfaction and affective well-be- ing, according to a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences. The cost of harassment in the workplace is high, and it should not be ignored. How Do I Prevent It or Stop It? Education is the best way of preventing harassment, but it is not a standalone panacea. Although many employers simply present an online sexual-harassment module as a primary method of prevention, research shows prevention efforts need multiple approaches. Employer policies that em- phasize not only state and local laws but also organizational val- ues and culture that underscore mutual respect and inclusion Diversity Toolbox columnist Dr. Lisa M. Greenhill is senior director for institutional research and diversity at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. AAVMC's "Diversity & Inclusion" podcasts are available at are key. Employee education, inclusive of the module men- tioned above, is im- portant. Education should cover the different forms of harassment and give concrete examples. Professional devel- opment offerings that include conflict resolution education serve to reduce risky behaviors, too. Most of all, having a clear orga- nizational protocol for reporting and adjudicating conflict is essential, especially at small workplaces where employees might think they are unable to report a problem because of a flat organizational structure. These employers could consider outsourcing certain hu- man resource functions to ensure quality prevention approaches and a dedicated reporting process. And as for clients? Just like with employees, some folks will just not fit in with your practice. Harassment has tangible effects on your business. As the national conversation about work- place and interpersonal harass- ment continues, know that efforts to promote a climate and culture of inclusion and respect are key to preventing unwanted behaviors by employees and clients. For more information on pre- venting or addressing workplace harassment, visit the U.S. Equal Em- ployment Opportunity Commission at and the So- ciety for Human Resource Manage- ment at Continued from Page 41 Stay curious: Embrace lifelong learning for you and your team. Personal and pro- fessional learning are a must. Track retention: I believe no key performance indica- tor is more critical than employee retention. If people are consistently quitting, something is wrong. Take the time to conduct exit inter- views and correct any issues. Don't underestimate the effect of stay interviews in which employees dis- cuss what they like and don't like about their job. Stay interviews can dramatically reduce turnover. Insist on health cover- age: I can't imagine not having health insurance for my family. If not offered by your em- ployer, find one that does. Prioritize financial well-being: At some point in your career, retirement becomes a consideration. Start saving. Create a fun work cul- ture: How many veterinary practices have you visited? Could you tell within two minutes of entering the lobby whether the workplace was a fun one? Work can be fun. Remember the power of the pause: My friend John is a big proponent of the power of the pause. A busy practice might not be fun at times — a grave prognosis, a euthanasia, a less-than-desired outcome. Take a minute and pause. For some, a quick prayer; for others, a moment to process; for others, a chance to catch their breath and gather themselves. Celebrate: Most of us are good at spotting and calling out poor performance. How many of us are just as good at calling out good performance? Look for reasons to celebrate. Slowly but Surely One of my WellHaven hospitals is participating with AAHA in a Healthy Workplace Initiative beta test. The idea is that by better promoting a healthy workplace we can better promote well-being. Very cool. As I was finishing a draft of this article, I read in my most recent JAVMA "100 Healthy Tips to Sup- port a Culture of Wellbeing." Way to go, AVMA! Enjoy the journey. We are blessed to be in a profession in which we make such an enormous difference in the lives of those we serve. Society universally ad- mires our profession, one whose importance is just beginning to be recognized for its impact on human health. The principle of incremen- talism says I might not be able to change our entire profession, but I can take a few steps, maybe more. No longer is it OK for supremely gifted veterinary nurses to leave our profession. No longer is it OK for brilliant clinicians to advise their daughters against following in their footsteps. In my practice, this is no longer acceptable. Not on my watch. Not in my practice. We will do all we can, one step at a time, to reverse declines in well- being. We can make a difference. 18 Creative Disruption columnist Dr. Bob Lester is chief medical officer of Well- Haven Pet Health and a founding member of Banfield Pet Hospital and the Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine. He serves on the North American Veterinary Community board of directors. 13 14 15 16 17 12 Most of us are good at spotting and calling out poor performance. How many of us are just as good at calling out good performance? Look for reasons to celebrate. Women and people of color typically experience higher rates of workplace harassment and have higher incidences of work- related health disparities.

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