Today's Veterinary Business

APR 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 Fully investing, however, requires time, patience, awareness and a boldness to face the prob- lems that are stirring and then pour into our employees the encourage- ment and direction they need to perform at their best. For so many of us, we are the sole employee of our hospital's human resources department, and that role is only one of the many we play. So, the question becomes: How do we consistently cultivate top-performing employees without having to drown in paperwork and follow-up meetings? Many management books have been written on employee engagement and empowerment. I believe that the framework pro- posed by Ken Blanchard and Spen - cer Johnson in their best-seller, "The One Minute Manager," proves useful in the traditional supervi- sory setups often established in a veterinary practice. I find that using their tactics of one-minute goals — praisings and reprimands (or redirections, as now defined in their recent work, "The New One Minute Manager) — can provide needed guidance and foster an open dialog between management and the support team. Formal Review: Goal Setting A great place to start the one-min- ute manager process is during a formal annual review. Instead of a traditional top-down approach during which the employee suffers through a list of all the things he failed at throughout the past year as he waits to hear if he got a pay raise, consider letting the employee lead. Create a culture that com- bats complacency by inviting the employee to come to the meeting My attitude and energy toward managing employees can ebb and flow as quickly as the tides, depend- ing on the degree of heat I might be feeling from the perpetual daily fires. At my worst, I am angered by apathy or pettiness and wonder why people can't just show up, do their jobs and get along. However, experiencing seasons or even brief moments of synergistic harmony within the team reminds me how fruitful it can be to fully invest in our human resources. Leadership TAKE CHARGE By Abby Suiter, MBA, CVPM prepared with generalizations of what he does well and what he needs to improve upon, and ask him to list specific goals he would like to work on. Find out what resources he needs to accomplish the goals, discuss the possible roadblocks and agree on a goal timeline. Let the employee start the discussion, and limit management input to filling in any gaps or pro- viding needed direction. A great resource is the reference "Effective Phrases for Performance Apprais- als," which provides a language to better illustrate what you are looking for when you want an em- ployee to work on, for example, his "communication" or "initiative." I feel strongly that a scheduled performance review is not the time to give raises, as they tend Get the best out of your team Take short, focused steps to shape the desired habits and behaviors of employees.

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