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Top 10 reasons why regular meetings are essential for your veterinary practice

Posted @ Sep 3rd 2020 - By Tracy Kamens, Senior Practice Advisor, Vettr

1. Source of information

Discussing and sharing the same information with everyone at the same time, asking for input and allowing them time to consider problems and solutions will help rally your team towards a common goal.

2. Inconsistencies can be addressed

If more than one person is doing something different within the clinic, meetings are a great opportunity to review, discuss the pros and cons of the differences and then come up with a newly formed and improved protocol or system that the team is in agreement will work.

3. Problems can be solved

Meetings can be a very efficient way to brainstorm and solve problems, especially if there is trust within the team and employees feel safe to speak openly and honestly. It does however, take time and practice to facilitate and encourage feedback from all as not everyone is immediately comfortable speaking up in a group situation. Giving your team enough advanced notice to think about the topics to be discussed will go a long way to helping those who may be initially uncomfortable in this situation.

4. Goals can be set and reviewed

Everyone wants to feel a part of and recognised for their contribution towards setting and achieving the overall goals of the practice. Meetings are the perfect place to explain the bigger picture and what the role is of each of your team in achieving success.

5. Shared goals can be celebrated

Who doesn’t love a meeting that involves a party? An added bonus to discussing goals and how to reach them – is that when you do, there is fun to be had when celebrating the milestones. It’s also important to celebrate the small wins on the way to achieving the bigger goals.

6. Shout outs and recognition of work well done

As a team leader you do need to be aware of individual preferences within your team as some people like to receive public praise and others don’t, but in general beginning the meeting with at least some of the team expressing what they’re thankful for and naming a person that contributed, sets a good tone for the rest of the meeting.

7. Mental wellness awareness and tips

We know our jobs are tough, but we often lack the time to discuss what we can do to make things easier. Meetings are a great way for team members to share what they do to de-stress, reenergise, or just relax and keeping an open dialogue around mental wellness is important. We recommend a 5-10 min conversation every meeting and you can easily research topics if you are not sure what to talk about. Another great idea is if some of your team volunteer to take on the role of being part of a practice wellness committee and create quarterly activities for the team.

8. Communication/other skills can be learned and developed

Meetings don’t have to be all about fixing problems and creating protocols as they are also a great opportunity to learn new skills and to practice them in a safe environment. Everyone can benefit from learning a bit more about emotional intelligence, communication and leadership.

9. Training can take place

We recommend alternating between a meeting one week and then a training session the next. And we also recommend setting up a 12-month calendar with all training topics predetermined. This can be the focus of one of your early meetings in the year, where you ask the question - “what does everyone want to learn this year?” and then come up with a mix of product, technical and soft skills sessions.

10. Opportunity to develop and improve your team culture:

Team building games can be a fun way to start your meetings, or they can be the focus of a meeting/training session depending on what you want to accomplish. Once again there are an endless number of activities you’ll be able to find by doing some easy research online.

Another great team building activity is to provide lunch for your team before the meeting. It doesn’t have to be expensive and a DIY meat/salad roll, sandwich or similar still gives the team a chance to wind down and have a quick catch up while getting their lunch together which helps to set them up for the meeting ahead.

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