Ask Katie: Is there a better way to train my team?


The veterinary staff at this practice get the job done just not the way theyd been trained to. In cases like this, training and re-training might not be the answer.

Think about it: Is the problem REALLY training? (Photo: Jacob Lund/; illustration by Roxy Townsend)"My staff doesn't do things the way they've been taught. I can't tell whether I don't have the right people on my team or whether my training program needs to be revamped."

Training is meant to do one of two things: teach a skill or provide knowledge. If your employees know how to do a certain task and have the appropriate knowledge to execute, then training isn't your answer.

Let's say that Mary has been trained to check in patients for boarding, but she doesn't do it correctly. It would be easy to assume that she needs more training. However, that's not always the case. What she really needs is feedback.

Feedback is one of the most powerful learning tools. It's likely that Mary doesn't realize there's a gap between how the check-in process should look and what she does. Giving her feedback about how to improve her performance will likely resolve the issue.

Additionally, consider providing Mary with a job aid. A job aid is a written process, like a checklist, for how to get from start to finish for a given task. It can be on paper or computerized and should include a picture and step-by-step instructions.

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

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