Ease team members' work-related concerns.
Fear of layoffs may motivate your team members to update their resumes-even if your practice hasn't been affected by the recession. “It's like the swine flu,” says Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and partner with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. “More people are killed by donkeys each year but that flu is still a major concern for some. One person loses a job-most likely because an employer wanted to hire a better-qualified employee-and through the grapevine clinics fear layoffs.”
Help ease team members' concerns by giving them the whole financial picture, says Grosdidier. For example, if your practice needs to cut back on hours, try saying something like, “Because the number of appointments has decreased, we're going to rework our schedules. This does not mean there will be layoffs. Our intention is to help everyone keep their jobs.” Grosdidier recommends holding weekly update meetings to keep team members' imaginations from running wild.
Finally, give every employee respect and recognition. When treated fairly and rewarded appropriately, team members will be less likely to move on, Grosdidier says. “Give praise whenever possible,” she says. “We pass that one up everyday, even though it costs us nothing.