Don't fire after a CE conference

November 8, 2018
Brendan Howard, Business Channel Director

Brendan Howard oversees veterinary business, practice management and life-balance content for dvm360.com, dvm360 magazine, Firstline and Vetted, and plans the Practice Management track at all three Fetch dvm360 conferences.Brendan has proudly served under the Veterinary Economics and dvm360 banners for more than 10 years. Before that, he worked as a journalist, writer and editor at Entrepreneur magazine and a top filmed entertainment magazine in Southern California. Brendan received a Masters in English Literature from University of California, Riverside, in 1999.

This practice owner and Get Sh*t Done conference speaker counseled colleagues to wait for a bit after being away for a conference before terminating a problem employee.

Raise your hand with Dr. Saye Clement if you've gone to a CE conference, gotten inspired and gone home and let go of a toxic team member. Maybe not so quick there? (Photo courtesy of Uncharted)You know the story: You've been suffering as the practice owner or manager with a totally toxic employee or a team member who just doesn't fit your veterinary hospital culture, no matter how hard you try. Saye Clement, practice owner of Carling Animal Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, told attendees at Uncharted's Get Sh*t Done conference in Greenville, South Carolina, that she intimately knows that pain.

Years ago, Dr. Clement drove past her practice instead of pulling into the driveway in the morning because she couldn't bear to face an employee who had been a poor fit for a long time. She dreaded going to work, Dr. Clement told attendees.

Everything was ultimately better when she had the courage to terminate the employee, but Dr. Clement also warned attendees not to be inspired at her talk and race home to fire team members. Why?

"You'll match an adverse event with a good event," says Dr. Clement.

Employees will be stunned by the sudden termination and "walk around on eggshells" for a while, she says. Also, the next time you head off to what should be an exciting, educational conference experience, the practice team will be bracing in fear back home for what you'll come home and do next.

Give it at least two weeks, Dr. Clement says to practice owners, managers and team leads during her session. That gives you time to plan it right and not telegraph that you came to the big decision while you were off at the conference.