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Your Veterinary Team - Are they Magnificent or do they give you a Migraine?

Posted in Management @ Apr 10th 2014 - By Dr Diederik Gelderman, Turbo Charge Your Veterinary Practice
Veterinary Team Magnificant Or Migraine

Many veterinary practice owners tell me that they’d rather have a thumping headache – or a migraine even…… than deal with their ‘Team’.

Your biggest headache or your biggest asset – which one is it for you?

Your Team is more valuable to you than your x-ray machine, your in-house lab or even all your drugs and stock and even though it may be a definite ‘challenge’, harnessing them to your cause (your practice’s cause), is very, very doable when you follow a tried, true and tested formula.

The Formula for turning your Veterinary team from a migraine to Magnificant!

1.    Firstly you need to cover off on the base levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Above all your Team members are after security.

Security is represented by name badges, uniforms, documented job descriptions, a relatively ‘stable’ roster, some form of work agreement or ‘contract, a ‘safe’ work environment, a supportive almost ‘family’ work group and lastly having an ‘in’ on some of the major things going on in the practice.

2.    Once those matters are covered off, then comes the ‘Why’…..

  • ‘Why’ do I get out of bed to come to work every day?;
  • ‘Why’ do we do what we do?;
  • ‘Why’ do we do it the way that we do it? and
  • ‘Why’ should our clients use us?

This ‘Why’ or purpose must be strongly identified, must suffuse through the workplace and must be 100% crystal clear to everyone.

This ‘Why’ must be so strong and so clear that it’s possible for Team members to make ‘decisions’ with respect to ‘What should I do in this situation…?’ based on that ‘Why’.

3.    After the Why comes the opportunity to work ‘Autonomously’

This means that at some stage during their day or week each of your team members need to be able to work autonomously. To be able to set / run their own schedule without someone constantly peering over their shoulder telling them what to do or how to do it.

4.    Then we get to ‘Mastery’ – the ability to be masterful or excellent at something, something to do with their work, with their job.

This may be a medical or a surgical skill gained through CE (in the case of Veterinarians) or ‘managing’ clients, behavioural dog training, monitoring complex anaesthetics or hosting New Client guided tours for the nurses, receptionists and kennel Team.

It doesn’t matter what it is, it only matters that they get THAT opportunity.

5.    And now we come to the matter of feedback.

One of the keys to a High-Performing Team is feedback - honest, open, constructive (not namby-pamby) feedback.

To develop your own High Performing Team, EACH Team member needs to receive between 3 and 11 pieces of feedback per DAY. Studies show that one of the key differences between a High and a Low Performing Team is Feedback, and that in a High Performing Team, each Team member receives (on average) 5.6 times more feedback than a member of a Low Performing Team.

Yes – it is challenging to ‘systematise’ this amount of feedback, but with some careful lateral thinking and structure, it is VERY doable.

So there you have it the major keys to a MAGNIFICENT Team.


About Diederik

Dr. Gelderman is a certified NLP Master Practitioner and Trainer. He began coaching veterinary professionals with his Turbo Charge Your Veterinary Practice seminar, in 2004, to a small group of associates. In 2009, the seminars expanding internationally to Hong Kong, NZ, Europe and the US.

Dr. Gelderman has coached and consulted with more than 350 Small to Medium Enterprises in a diverse range of industries. For more information visit 'Turbo Charge Your Practice'.

Click here to visit the Turbo Charge Your Practice Page in the Vetanswers Business Directory


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