6 Ways to Empower Your Veterinary Team
It’s Monday morning and as your clinic comes into sight, you see that the parking lot is full. Inside you see a lobby full of clients and pets. Whether you are the receptionist, the technician, the veterinarian, or the hospital manager – you know that need to hit the ground running.
Now imagine two distinct scenarios...
Scenario #1: You start to get anxious knowing that you are going to be the one picking up all of the slack, doing everyone’s job, and have an exhausting day that will extend well beyond your scheduled shift.
Scenario #2: You are excited for an action-packed day; you can’t wait to get into the clinic and lend a hand. Time will fly and before you know it you’ll be heading home, satisfied that you had a productive day.
Scenario 2 is the well-managed practice, where each member of the team plays an integral role in keeping the hospital moving in a positive direction. An important element of this model is empowerment.
- Make sure each team member
knows exactly what is expected of them. This includes a detailed job
description and a comprehensive phase training program. Check back with
employees frequently to ensure they have the tools and equipment needed to do
- Communicate with your
team on a regular basis. Monthly staff meetings keep everyone informed
about clinic updates. Hold training sessions, create monthly newsletters and keep
an up-to-date hospital policies and procedures manual. Communication becomes
especially important when there are changes on the horizon.
- Get your employees
involved in planning and decision-making, when individuals are engaged in
the processes they are more likely to take responsibility. Start by letting
them make small day-to-day decisions and see how much more invested and
productive they are in their responsibilities.
- Give your team
members frequent feedback. Give
positive feedback soon after they have performed well and, if an area needs
improvement, it should be discussed right away. Make sure you say ‘thank you’
for a job well done and recognize a team member who has surpassed expectations.
- Be fair and
respectful to your team. Being thoughtful in challenging situations and
resolving conflict creates a supportive environment for your entire team. If
you have erred, own up to your mistake and apologize – your team will
appreciate your honesty, better relate to you, and respect you that much
- Learn to trust your team. You need to create a culture of support and trust. Allow your team the freedom to do their job without continual micromanagement – but be sure to check in and ensure everything is running smoothly.
Creating a positive, supportive and fun work environment, where your employees feel valued and heard, will lead to empowerment and result in clinic success. When your team is empowered, your clients receive quality services, your patients get the best care, your clinic prospers, and your days run smoothly.