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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54 Today's Veterinary Business Leadership Agenda No meeting should take place without a preapproved agenda. A draft should be created with input from key participants. Each person can add suggestions until the agenda is finalized. Instead of having attendees debate 17 minor questions that could be answered by email, focus on a few important items. Four major points might be a good number. Each section of the meeting should have a time limit. Here's an example. • 1-1:05 p.m.: Good news. (See below.) • 1:05-1:15: Next year's fee increase. • 1:15-1:30: Online pharmacy launch. • 1:30-1:45: Next quarter's marketing plan. • 1:45-1:55: Add a new medication? • 1:55-2: Wrapup and WWW. (See below.) Attendees Who should be present? Who is indis- pensable and can make decisions? Not everybody needs to be a part of every meeting or for its du- ration. Some team members can be invited at a specific time. For exam- ple, the inventory manager could sit in from 1:15 to 1:30 p.m. to discuss the launch of your online pharmacy. Be respectful of people's time. Team members not required to attend can read the minutes. Rules Define the rules of engagement. For example: • Be on time. Some businesses penalize people for being late. One small-business owner orders an attendee to perform 10 squat thrusts for each minute the person is late. These are not done on the spot, though, because time — and money — would be wasted. The exercise is done at home and document- ed on video. • No cell phones. Request that attendees leave their phones outside the meeting room. The Meeting Do this: • Start with good news. It can be a thank-you card from a delighted client, a team mem- ber's adoption of a rescued puppy or a nice online review. • Summarize the meeting's main objectives. • Designate a time referee. This fearless person will give a two-minute warning when time is running out on a par- ticular topic. • Designate a note taker. This person keeps the minutes and distributes them within a day or two. • Stop discussions that are off-topic. Subjects not on the agenda should not be Dr. Phil Zeltzman's traveling surgery practice takes him all over eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. He is Fear Free certified. Learn more at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. brought up. Remember, every minute wasted costs money. After the Meeting Any productive meeting should end with action items and clear guidelines. Each attendee needs goals and deadlines. This final sec- tion of the meeting can be summa- rized by the letters WWW, or "Who does What by When?" Is my advice harsh? Would your meetings become less fun? Too businesslike? That's my point: Meet- ings are meant for talking shop, not to go down every rabbit hole brought up by a random attendee. Follow these guidelines and your meetings will fulfill their real purpose: brainstorming, creating solutions and sharing information. When that happens, staff members will look forward to meetings and leave the conference room ener- gized, motivated and happy. 2 3 4 Leadership MEETINGS for more and are willing to endure struggles as they try to achieve their goals. Climbers will be motivated if they have the strength, endur- ance and support to continue climbing. Being pulled backward will deter and demotivate them. If restrained long enough, they might become as unmotivated as the bottom-dwelling crabs. As a leader, you need to identify the climbers in your practice and protect them on their journey using your leadership decisions and style. Five indicators of a climber are: Adherence to Office Policies Following company policies shows a respectful demeanor that will have a positive ripple effect on the team's performance. Great Bedside Manner An associate who shows concern for a positive client and patient experience is someone you should embrace. A leader should encourage and protect this behavior. Conflict Management Skill This is a sign of an associate who is willing to talk when times get tough. The skill will lead to conflict resolution and ultimately to the retention of clients, patients and other associates. Continuous Learner A hunger for information shows a genuine passion for the veterinary field and professional growth. This valuable associate is willing to in- vest time into the growth necessary to provide excellent patient care. Not a Gossiper A climber is focused on success, not negative and unnecessary commu- nication that doesn't contribute to the team's positive performance. An associate who stays away from gos- sip is extremely valuable in promot- ing a healthy work environment. Claire Pickens is a learning and operational development manager at Thrive Affordable Vet Care. She is a former practice owner and has over 20 years of experience in leadership and teaching. Clean Your Crab Bucket Once you have identified the unmotivated crabs and the climbers, take control of the bucket. Here are some tips. 3 4 5 Climbers Unmotivated Crabs Coach • Identify their goals • Discover their willingness to climb • Support their work ethic • Support their demeanor • Discuss mutual expectations • Identify their barriers • Discover their willingness to Change • Address work ethic issues • Address demeanor issues • Be clear about expectations Train • Identify their desired skills • Create a timeline for progress • Discover learning opportunities • Identify deficient skills • Create a timeline for progress • Create learning opportunities HR actions • Identify promotion opportunities • Reward positive progress • Discuss opportunities • Take disciplinary action • Consider termination • Discuss next steps if no progress Mentor • Pair with another climber • Hold regular check-ins to motivate and reward continued progress • Pair only if they agree to progress • Hold regular check-ins to ensure progress and hold them accountable Does your practice employ unmotivated crabs who potentially endan- ger the progress of your climbers? Take the appropriate actions so your practice can experience the success of the climb. 1 2 Continued from Page 52

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