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Setting a Veterinary Team up for Success – Eight Practical Tips

March 22, 2017

Follow these 8 Tips to set your veterinary team up for success.

Set a Veterinary Team up for Success!

Your hospital is only a cold shell which houses expensive equipment, costly prescriptions, various types of food, materials and “things.” It is your amazing team that brings it to life by providing compassion, passion, expertise and relationship building. Without your team, your business is lifeless and cold.

With that said, it is your team that educates and interacts with your clients. It is their ability to offer consistent, quality service that keeps your clients coming back. When you invest in your team, your greatest asset, you are setting your business up for success.

Set your team up for success by encouraging them to grow, taking on new roles, defining what motivates them and following through with their ideas and contributions.

Set your team up for success!
1. Wages
Identify and offer a decent wage that supports the team member and fits into the budget of the veterinary hospital. To learn more about the wages/salaries offered in your region, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You will find information on veterinary and veterinary technician salaries, graphs and much more at www.bls.gov.

2. Motivation
Determine what keeps them engaged and interested in their career. Implement those offerings and suggestions. I find it rather ironic when a manager asks, “What does my team members want?” I encourage them to simply ask their team members. During formal reviews, team meetings and casual conversations, ask your team members about their aspirations, what drives them and how you can make their work-days better. Then follow through with their suggestions.

3. Career development
Career development is paramount to your team’s success and that of the veterinary hospital. The cliché “you stop learning, you die,” rings true in the veterinary community. Career development comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes! Examples are in-hospital trainings, attendance at a convention, participation in ToastMasters (while on the clock and supported by management!) or simply reading professional development books (I recommend Steve Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People).

4. Leveraging
Leveraging your team is foundational to efficiency and team satisfaction. Your team has specific tasks and duties they have been trained to perform. Allowing them to reach their highest potential by doing what they are trained to do is pivotal. A first step is having veterinarians delegating tasks to team members they know are knowledgeable and trust. Create job descriptions that grow with your team members. One-size job descriptions does not fit ALL!

5. Client Service
Offering exceptional, extraordinary client service is the best way to keep your veterinary hospital afloat. It is your veterinary team that makes that happen. You may have the best lab, surgical, and radiology equipment offered in the world of veterinary medicine; however, it is your team that creates the bond between the hospital and client. Personal relationship building is the key and that does NOT occur between an Idexx machine and a pet parent!

6. Marketing
Your team has special attributes and passions. Elaborate on them as your team member grows into a masterful, passionate, engaged employee. Marketing of your team’s services and hospital services is a sure way of ensuring your clients know and understand all the ways your hospital can meet their needs. Do you have a Veterinary Diplomate or a Veterinary Technician Specialist? Make that statement on your website.

7. Performance Reviews
Your team wants to know how they are doing and performance reviews are terrific tools to identify their career path, set goals, follow up on progress and take them and your hospital to the next level. Because you and your team are empowered to give feedback in the moment, performance reviews are geared toward career growth and development.

8. SMART goals
Finally, put in place SMART goals for individuals and the team. As new individuals or teams are created, make sure to evaluate current goals and establish new goals which support the hospital’s mission, vision, and values.

Your team is your greatest asset! Grow, nurture and retain them for improved team satisfaction, outstanding client experience and increased patient care.

Yours in Career Development,
Rebecca Rose, CVT