Take a page from this 90s cartoon and turn your team into a smooth running, client pleasing, world-dominating machine.
Getty Images, inspired by Pinky and the Brain
Remember Pinky and The Brain, the cartoon lab mice bent on world domination? Every night Pinky would say to the Brain, "What are we going to do tonight?" Brain always replied, "What we do every night, Pinky. Try and take over the world." Then the Brain would devise an ill-advised plot to do just that.
Technicians can devise much better plans to take over the world- or at their veterinary practice-to build lasting careers and great relationships with their team members and bosses. And with these simple strategies, they'll have more success than the Brain!
Everyone in the practice would be happiest with a healthy bottom line, happy and healthy team members, flourishing patients and thrilled pet owners. Here are some not-so-nefarious schemes to help you improve your team. What are we going to do this time, Brain? What we do every time...
World domination tip 1: Make your team better
Ask if you can lead a team meeting. Does everyone know everything they should about processes and procedures? Probably not. With the rate that things change, you should be able to find something you could talk about. Take fecal testing for example:
> Does everyone know the premise for testing?
> Do they really know why and how to run a fecal check?
> Do they know why the test works?
As you research information, consider ways to engage the rest of the team. Not only will you learn, you'll become a better employee and a better leader. It's an opportunity to improve yourself and your whole team by arming them with knowledge-and impressing them with your leadership skills.
World domination tip 2: Make the practice run better
Find resources online that explain new ways to perform old tasks, like a different solution for floating a fecal test. Try implementing them-if only to see if it will improve your results. Even if it doesn't, you and your team have learned even more about the limitations of the test itself, and you'll be better able to explain it to clients. If your new information does improve results, or shortens the time you spend running the test, then that's even better and the practice will have you to thank. Keep an open mind. Just because something's always been done a certain way doesn't mean there isn't a better solution.
World domination tip 3: Make your clients better
You've researched fecal solutions. You've led a team meeting about your practice protocols. Now you're ready to reach out to clients armed with your newfound enthusiasm for (drumroll, please) poop! Go through client records, searching for clients who are past due for a fecal exam, or for those whose pets have been diagnosed with parasites in the past. Reach out to them with a friendly call, explaining that you know Bella had an issue with intestinal parasites and you wanted to make sure she's feeling better. Explain what you know about parasites and fecal testing. You have a chance to share the importance of screening pets for parasites and you can even throw in a pitch about the importance of parasite prevention.
After implementing these ideas, you'll be an improved team with more efficient processes, and your clients will feel like you remember and care about them. Now that's a world worth taking over!
Kathryn Primm, DVM, owns and practices at Applebrook Animal Hospital in Ooltewah, Tennessee, and is the author of Tennessee Tails: Pets and Their People.