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Why frequent reviews are critical for your veterinary business And your people

Posted in Management @ Jul 18th 2022 - By Tracy Kamens, Senior Practice Advisor, Vettr
Why Frequant Reviews Are Critical For Your Veterinary Business And Your People

Regular performance converasations are essential as they foster the growth, development, and engagement of your people.

The Why...

Performance management processes, including individual reviews, have the potential to foster the growth, development, and engagement of your people. Despite knowing that a happy team equates to happy clients and happy pets, we often struggle to make take the time to learn how to deliver a review process. This process will help your business recognise and reward your people fairly and equitably while identifying skill gaps and opportunities for improving performance. In other words, reviews can help you to invest in and retain the right people. 

Why do we think acting on this now is more important than ever? 

According to Gallup – the statistics are grim.

Source: Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report Employee Engagement

The performance review process provides you with the opportunity to review why you do what you do and what makes your practice special.  However, most importantly, it highlights a person’s individual contribution to making it all happen. 

Who wouldn’t want to sit down with their manager on a regular basis to hear that their work matters, and this is how it matters?

Unfortunately, this often isn’t the message we give your individual team members when we sit down with them to discuss their performance.

Sometimes this is due to a lack of time, but other times it's due to a lack of training. And despite our best-laid plans, rather than listening to understand and then discussing the opportunities for improvement and growth, we concentrate on the things they aren’t doing ‘right. And while we all can appreciate constructive criticism, it is really only taken as constructive when it is equally balanced with constructive positive feedback.

No doubt none of this is a great revelation to many of you. So the million-dollar question is: How do we modify/start a process that will engage and motivate our team?  

The famous response, “if it was easy everyone would be doing it”, comes to mind.   

If you would like more structured help, at Vettr, we have a comprehensive 3-month program that will help you create an ongoing process to provide the results you are after. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

The What....

1. Business Goals:

Every element of your review process - each question, activity, and conversation - should align directly with the overall outcomes the practice wants to accomplish within the next 12 months and the strengths of your team. 

I regularly get asked for help with what questions to ask in a review and the fact is, if you have clear quarterly goals, then the questions should write themselves.   

2. Training on how to give and receive feedback:

As a manager, you play a critical role in any performance review process, including:

  • Identifying and rewarding high performance,
  • Coaching employees for increased performance and growth, and
  • Helping employees see possibilities for their future.

As part of your role as a manager, you should be having meaningful conversations about performance, progress, and growth with each member of your team at least twice per month. But before you start these check-in’s, we recommend a formal meeting to discuss the quarter goals you've set for your practice and any challenges the employee may see with their individual role.

If you're concerned that you don't have the skills to effectively have these essential conversations with your team members, the skills required can be learned and further developed over time.  


The How: 

1. Start small:

Consider the next 3 months and define a focus by asking:  What behaviours (not tasks) do you want to see changed in each of these areas?

For example...

The business:

  • Increase the percentage of days per week that we are 5% above the breakeven amount  

The clients:

  • Increase the number of active clients by decreasing client attrition by X percent

The team:

  • Ensure every team member understands how their role is important in the client journey for adult pet vaccinations in order to enhance the client/pet/practice bond 

2. Identify the Gaps in each area

Start by specifically describing the difference between your goal and the current reality.  

Use this system of questions to help you identify the gaps that currently exist:

  • What is the current gap/challenge?  
  • How does this challenge look? i.e. describe what it looks like when your goal/behaviour isn’t accomplished  
  • Why do you think this may be happening?  
  • What solutions can you try to see if the identified problem improves?
  • What does success look like?
  • When are you going to make a change and when are we going to reassess if it is working?  

3. Develop questions for each role in your team

Develop the necessary questions to encourage a conversation aboutof what part their role plays within the wider practice and more specifically, determine what support the individual needs to help the team succeed in the above goals.

  • Don’t forget to also plan for at least a monthly quick check-in to ensure each person is on track  
  • With the goal in mind consider what information or clarification the team needs and conduct a meeting/training to communicate  
  • Inform the team of your intentions of wanting to hear individual thoughts and challenges with the set goals  
  • Create a set of questions (ideally between 4-6) for each role to help guide the conversations  
  • Develop a summary template to provide consistent and clear information around what was discussed andwhat your role as a manager will be in following up and ensuring that person’s success in helping the team reach the goal.   

What's next?

Hopefully, now you can see how the yearly review or even worse, the haphazard version of snap reviews when you think there is a ‘morale problem’ is often not the best solution.  

While this process does take more time and thought, with 3 minor changes your practice can be well on its way to being more Team-Centric. 

If this process seems like it's way out of your comfort zone, or you just don't think you have the time (or expertise) to do it successfully, then now is a great time to consider joining Vettr. You'll not only benefit financially from our rebates BUT you'll also have unlimited access to our Business Coaches who will guide and support you through this process. 

Maybe now is the time to think about joining us - you can find out more here. Or save even more time and click HERE to schedule a call and we can talk about all the ways we can help you and your practice.  


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