Employee engagement can be challenging, and often veterinary practices also struggle to keep a team of people fully engaged and performing at their best. Here are a couple of reasons why practices might wrestle with building cultures that drive employee satisfaction, and some ways to think differently about those challenges.
Focus on accomplishments, not progress
Many of the veterinary hospitals I’ve worked with are laser focused on what they need to get done, which of course is great. But sometimes they pay less attention to how they get better at doing those things in the first place. The real question is, how can your employees execute better tomorrow with the same skills, knowledge, attitude and experience they have today?
Practice owners and managers that focus on helping their people develop and grow won’t need to worry about how the practice will accomplish new and better things. A great team makes that happen consistently. Great leaders learn to ask, “Is my team any better this week?”, not just, “Did they produce more?”
Think about the journey as well as the destination
I’ve often seen leadership team meetings where they review the performance of the practice or other historical data, but it’s more rare to see one where they also review things like engagement, excitement, development or employee satisfaction. I’m not suggesting that metrics like new patients, client retention, or revenue shouldn’t be front and center. However, paying attention to the journey, and how employees developed and contributed is bound to give your metrics new, clear meaning. If we provide a real sense of accomplishment, and celebrate success, burnout is less likely and employees will often dig deeper, innovate and improve..
We still have metrics to hit and goals to accomplish next month and our employees are either energized and excited about the next challenge, or they are dreading it. The right kind of energy will go a long way toward determining your practice’s success going forward.
One leader can make a huge difference. Go into your practice and, with your team, create a dream, focus on progress, and help people enjoy the journey. Do this and it won’t be long before you see progress and a team that is growing, developing and showing up more engaged. That kind of team will change the future of your practice.
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