Live from CVC: 10 ways to bring positive change to your veterinary practice


Boost your practice's energy and share the good vibes with clients.

Positivity in the work environment is contagious—for your staff and your clients. Here are 10 tips from Dr. Ernie Ward to get your practice moving in the right direction.

1. Get involved in your community. Hosting an open house at your practice gives you and your team a great excuse to clean up, show off your clinic, and talk to clients about everything you have to offer.

2. Catch goodness. Make it a habit to catch someone doing something good every day—and praise them publicly for it.

3. Conduct performance evaluations. Let your staff know what they’re doing well—and what they can improve on. Dr. Ward points out that by doing evaluations twice a year—at least for the first three years of employment—the reviews won’t necessarily be associated with a yearly raise.

4. Train staff in phases. To prevent holes in learned skills, train new staff members according to a schedule. And don’t forget to include the most basic tasks in new employee training.

5. Share your purpose. Ask new employees to share their stories at the first staff training meeting they attend. Not only does it give everyone a chance to meet the new members of the team, but it allows people to make connections and start conversations based on common interests.

6. Make your one thought count. Replace negative thoughts and feeling with … something else. If you hear others speaking negatively in the practice, flip the energy around.

7. Participate in social media. Use Facebook and Twitter to promote positivity, share news and pictures, and keep clients engaged.

8. Paint the walls—literally. Refresh, renew, and renovate. Repaint the lobby and purchase new uniforms for team members every few years. Your clients do notice.

9. Use role playing as a training tool. Videotape appointments, role play common situations your team will encounter, and provide feedback. Everyone—including the practice owner—will benefit.

10. Stay on top of staff training. Conduct weekly or bi-weekly meetings that cover the basics—housecleaning, client service, and communication. You can also use staff meetings to highlight a situation where a team member really performed well.

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