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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52 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership This phenomenon, docu- mented in a 2015 study of crab behavior, is called crabs in a bucket syndrome, or CBS. The syndrome alludes to the behavior of a few un- motivated people in a group who are continually dragging down the people trying to find success. Does your veterinary practice suffer from CBS? Identify the Unmotivated Crabs As a leader, you have the choice to support the climbing crabs or pay attention to the unmotivat- ed bottom-of-the-bucket crabs. Choosing where you focus will ultimately decide the fate of the whole bucket population. The first step is to identify the unmotivated crabs that inhibit the performance climb. Identify them before they cause the most motivated climbers to give up and either leave your practice or settle for a spot at the bottom. Utilize the suggestions listed in the table on Page 54 to improve perfor- mance and lessen the negative impact of the unmotivated crabs in your practice. Here are key indicators of bottom- of-the-bucket crabs: Attendance and Punctuality Issues The employee does not respect the importance of getting to work on time and sharing the workload with fellow associates. Continuing Education Holds No Value This indicates disinterest in pro- fessional knowledge and a lack of passion for the employee's im- portant role on a team providing medical care. Gossip This is a sign of someone who focuses more on disseminating unproductive communication than on the practice's professional operation. Gossip is an indication of professional immaturity. Cold Shoulder This shows a lack of positive commu- nication skills. Instead of proactively communicating with the intent of problem-solving, this associate would rather sever communication. This causes division in the office and sometimes leads to a hostile work environment. Ultimatums This associate threatens to quit to secure her desires. If enabled, the highly toxic behavior can cause a domino effect of ultimatums throughout the office. Your duty as a leader is to identify the unmotivated crabs. It is essential that you prevent them from sinking their claws into the climbers. Identify the Climbers Which crabs are constantly climb- ing toward success? You, as a lead- er, must identify and support the climbers. They are always striving Imagine a bucket full of crabs that can clearly see the opening overhead. They topple and climb over each other as they try to scale the lip of the bucket and reach freedom. At the bottom are a few crabs that don't want to make the climb. In fact, not only do they not want to climb, but they don't want the other crabs to be successful either. These unmotivated crabs use their claws to grab the others, dragging them down. The counterproductive act impedes the progress of the freedom-seeking crabs. And, ultimately, this causes the motived crabs that were working so hard to succeed to give up and join their brethren at the bottom of the bucket. Leadership PERSONNEL By Claire Pickens, CVPM, SHRM-CP 1 2 3 4 5 Got crabs? Unmotivated employees hinder the progress of hard-working, career-oriented achievers. Both groups need your attention to ensure a healthy work environment. Continued on Page 54

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