Ask Katie: My team is killing my resolutions!

January 25, 2019
Katie Adams, CVPM
Katie Adams, CVPM

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

Youve changed things this year in your veterinary practice? Human beings are resistant to change, and your veterinary team members are human beings. Here are some basic steps to face this.

What happens when your veterinary team is trying to vote down the changes that need to happen this year?

Q. We've implemented some new things for 2019, but I'm having trouble getting my veterinary team to do them. I feel like I've told them 1,000 times already! Help!

If you've already said it 1,000 times, then you've only got another 1,000 or so to go. Humans are naturally resistant to change, even when we think we're open to new things. It takes about six weeks for us to move through the process of resistance-deciding if we're going to comply or not, and then getting on board. During that time, you'll need to repeat the process and support and encourage more times than you think you have the patience for, believe me.

Try illustrating the new method or process with a “job aid.” A job aid is like a standard operating procedure, but stated in no more than 10 steps. If you've got team members who clearly aren't getting it after six weeks (read: they're overtly or covertly resistant or they don't have the capacity to do what you've asked), then you'll need to have a different conversation with those folks. Otherwise, mark your calendar for six weeks from the inception of the new process so you have a light at the end of the tunnel, practice deep breathing and get an essential oil diffuser with some lavender in it for your office.

Hang in there. You've got this!

Katie Adams, CVPM, is owner and management consultant at Agrygation Consulting. Got a question for Katie? Email us at firstline@ubm.com.