How to get a raise in 18 steps


So you want a raise, a vacation, a smile; well, here is what the boss wants: good employees and team members.

So you want a raise, a vacation, a smile; well, here is what the boss wants: good employees and team members.

Good employees and team members are the goal of every business and every business thrives when the staff takes an interest in the job.

So just for today, let us consider what it is that the boss wants from the payroll staff.

Best and simplest terms

In the best and simplest of terms, it comes from Dr. Richard Pflueger ... the boss wants the staff to care and be kind to themselves, each other, the patients and clients.

Stick to "care and be kind," and you will get everything you desire from a job, assuming you are in the right job in the first place.

To get the things you desire from a job, any job, make yourself more valuable to the business.

That said, this is how we go about it in 18 easy steps:

1. Show up on time. Better yet, arrive a few minutes early, put away your stuff and be ready to go when your shift starts.

2. Listen, and buy into, the mission statement and the vision offered by the practice management.

3. Give the boss the benefit of the doubt. Yes, employees have issues, but the boss must make the correct decisions day-in-and-day-out to ensure a cash stream is present to make the payroll.

4. Forgive the boss. Lots of mistakes lead to a few good solutions; focus on the few good solutions.

5. Ask the boss(es) what you might do to help make the "boss's job" responsibilities easier.

6. Make yourself more valuable to the clinic. Without being told repetitively, see to it that all the duties are completed every day in a timely, consistent and competent fashion.

7. Anticipate client needs and pay special attention to opening doors, carrying pets out to the car. Smile and thank owners for coming in; after all, it is the client spending his or her discretionary dollars at your place of business that pays for salaries, benefits, heating, cooling, the floor service and maintenance (and candy).

If you like your job, show it. If you don't like the job because of too much diarrhea, too much blood, emotional clients, weird hours, leave and find another job that is fun for you.

8. Expect what you put into it. If you want to learn, show up for in-house educational opportunities. If you want to see more charity work, offer to put in some "free time."

9. If you cannot say anything nice don't say anything at all.

10. If you see a problem, or an issue comes up that needs attention, don't complain. Suggest assorted solutions, and offer to see that it gets the appropriate follow through.

11. Do not get bummed out if suggestions seem to be set aside. Lots of things are demanding the boss's attention: IRS, OSHA, inventory, maintenance, consumer relations, staff morale and vacation schedules and employee issues compound daily.

12. Take ownership of your own feelings. Specifically avoid the use of the words, "you did this" and "you did that." Think in terms of "I feel this way or "I am reacting ..."

13. Read a good book on human nature. Try a simple one, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson, or "Games People Play" by Eric Berne.

14. Remember that 85 percent of communication is physical messages, only 15 percent is verbal, so watch body language.

15. Dress like you care, look like you care. For males, a tie is nice, for women light makeup is the equivalent, and please touch up the outpatient coats with light starch.

16. If you need some special time off or special considerations, return those considerations by accepting and asking for more time to help out the other members of the staff who will be covering your time away.

17. Accept change. Without change, things cannot get better, improve or advance.

18. And remember, nobody and nothing is perfect — focus on the good part of the job.

Dr. Riegger, dipl. ABVP, is the chief medical officer at Northwest Animal Clinic Hospital and Specialty Practice. Contact him at, telephone and fax (505) 898-0407. Find him on AVMA's NOAH as the practice management moderator. Order his books "Management for Results" and "More Management for Results" by calling (505) 898-1491.

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