Ask Katie: How do we smooth the transition to new corporate ownership?
Katie Adams, CVPM
Katie Adams, CVPM, is owner and management consultant at Agrygation Consulting.
In a change this large, communication and feedback are key to keep everyone on the veterinary team feeling comfortable, says Katie Adams, CVPM.
Q: Our clinic is going to be sold to a corporate company and we want to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for our team. Do you have any suggestions for how to do that?
Learn more about change management
Change of any kind requires a lot of preparation and planning, but something of this magnitude requires extra attention because of the anxiety that will likely occur as soon as you make the announcement to your team.
The biggest determinants of how well a change is accepted and implemented are communication and feedback. Create a communication plan with the leadership team that includes a timeline of events, what information will be shared and with whom (share as much as you can with everyone to ease their fears) and who is responsible for not only disseminating the information, but also addressing questions and concerns. This can be more than one person as long as it's clear what each person is responsible for. Give frequent and timely updates about information as well.
Secondly, establish a way for your team to provide feedback about how the change is affecting them, what their concerns are, etc. Then address their concerns as quickly as possible. The more your team feels included in the change process, the smoother the transition will go.