TEAM Purpose & Common Goals

May 2, 2017

Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM), especially when there is a defined purpose and established, common goal to reach, together, as a veterinary team.

During the month of May, CATALYST focuses on Trust and Team Satisfaction. To get to those key points, first you must have a team that is rowing in the same direction towards the same common purpose.

It is not uncommon for me to ask team members in a group setting, what is the hospital’s mission and nobody can recite it. That tells me a lot about the leadership, management and the veterinary team. Without a declared, known and shared purpose, a team is like a hamster on a hamster wheel, spinning its wheel day in and day out, without purpose. Does that sound like your team? No purpose, just the daily grind, without much reward or satisfaction?

Let’s describe a different veterinary team. This time I ask, “What are the values and mission of the hospital?” and the team members CAN recite it? YAY! That is fantastic! That tells me the leadership has shared their vision of the future and there are goals to achieve, together. It tells me the team is included on the conversations and there is a bigger purpose to their daily tasks and duties. I am hopeful their days are rewarding and satisfying!

Most often mission statements cannot be recited simply because:

  1. statements do not exist or are no longer relevant (put together 10 years ago and forgotten)
  2. leadership does not feel the statements are worth routine conversations and team engagement
  3. statements are far too long and full of fluff

When the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) evaluated their mission statement over a year ago, it was over four sentences long. The Board was unable to recite it (sound familiar). Upon reworking their daily purpose and focus, NAVTA’s mission statement became just six words! It is to “advance veterinary technology and veterinary nursing.” Short. Simple. Memorable.

How long is your statement? How many of your team members know it, let alone live it? When was the last time you and your team evaluated its daily purpose? Food for thought.

When a team has shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect, there will be more satisfaction and efficiency, creating a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More).

Examples of team purpose may include:

  • Treat each patient and pet parent with dignity
  • Work alongside team members with integrity
  • Be an integral and respected part of the local community

Examples of team goals may include:

  • Receive high ratings on client surveys
  • Decrease team turnover to reflect the industry average (15%)
  • As a team, engage in three community events annually
  • Debrief traumatic team incidences with 24 hours

You may simply refer to this article to get the conversation started in evaluating your hospital’s Values, Vision and Mission Statements. Having your team define their own goals and purpose is a powerful exercise. Post the team’s purpose and goals in a predominant place, reviewing progress during team meetings.

Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM) when there is a defined purpose and common goal. Begin building your stronger TEAM, today!

Feel free to share your team’s goals and purpose (or Values, Vision and Mission) on CATALYST’s Facebook page. We enjoy hearing from you!

Yours in Veterinary Team Development,
Rebecca Rose, CVT