3 ways to give a great start to a new hire
Set your new veterinary team member up for successand a long-term commitment to your practicewith these helpful tips.
You've hired the perfect person for your veterinary team. Now what? Before you sit back and celebrate a job well done, there's more work to do. New hires need proper orientation and training, even if they've done the exact same job somewhere else. That's what attendees heard in CVC Kansas City session “The big secret to motivating employees” with speaker Denise Tumblin, CPA, president and owner of Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates in Columbus, Ohio.
“They may have the skills to do the job, but it's critical to make sure they know how your practice wants the job done,” Tumblin says. Here are a few things to keep in mind-from Tumblin and her attendees-as you're training newbies (bonus: it'll benefit your practice, too):
Be clear about expectations. By explaining to new hires exactly how you do what you do, you'll increase their comfort level with tasks, improve their self-reliance in the position and boost their confidence in the skills they need to get the job done.
Keep things fresh. Alleviate boredom and potential burnout by cross-training new hires and exposing them to different roles. “Everyone in the practice should have a good mental picture of what it's like to work in another department,” says Tumblin. “It's a good way to gain appreciation for coworkers and it leads to better teamwork.”
Another good reason to cross-train is that you'll always have staff coverage in place in case of emergency, Tumblin says: “If you've trained your team in multiple areas of the hospital, most staff members can step in as pinch hitters at a moment's notice.”
(Read about a Veterinary Economics Practice Manager of the Year nominee who did a full practice audit before cross-training-and she'll do it again!)
Give them a voice. While it's important to train new hires on your practice's protocols and procedures, it's also critical to give them the ability to make decisions on their own. “One of the key reasons for burnout is always being told what to do,” says Tumblin. By giving your new team members guidelines for their job, but empowering them to solve problems on their own, you'll give them the means to take ownership of their new role.
(Read about another Practice Manager of the Year who thinks departmentalizing and giving team members niches of their own is a great way to empower them.)
Attendees also shared suggestions of their own for giving team members the flexibility to make decisions and resolve conflict. One practice owner said his practice's front-desk staff use their discretion when it comes to transaction complaints-as long as the bill is less than $50. Another practice owner said she encourages team members to use their creativity when resolving customer complaints by answering the following questions: “Is your solution good for the client, the business and the employee?” If the answer is “yes,” then they get the green light.