Ask Katie: Cant work with them, cant find a replacement

July 5, 2018
Katie Adams, CVPM
Katie Adams, CVPM

Katie Adams, CVPM, is owner and management consultant at Agrygation Consulting.

When veterinary team members are shirking their duties and there isnt exactly a line of applicants willing to replace them, what are you to do? Our practice management expert Katie Adams, CVPM, has answers.

Photo: Shutterstock.comQ: How do you handle underperforming employees-who are only there part-time and clearly don't want to be there-when no one else is applying for the job?

A: First thing's first: Examine your hiring process. Did you offer your part-time people clear expectations for their role and provide proper training?

Next, take a good look at your culture. Is your work environment positive and inclusive? If not, you should take measures to make sure they're the best that they can be.

Finally, you need to schedule one-on-one meetings with the team members in question. Let them know specifically what you're seeing that leads you to believe they're not interested in their job. Listen to their responses carefully-are there underlying issues you need to address? Or is this role simply not the best fit for them? If the latter is true, you're better off letting them go.

Underperforming employees do more harm than good, so even though no one else is applying, that underperformer still needs to get off your bus. It's better to hold out for the right person than simply settle for a warm body.

Katie Adams, CVPM, is director of curriculum development at veterinary education provider Ignite Veterinary Solutions based in Austin, Texas.