Build a foundation of values and everything else falls in line.
Your practice most likely values things like high-quality medicine and compassionate care. But what do those phrases really mean? Shawn McVey told practice managers and owners attending the Veterinary Economics Managers' Retreat in Kansas City, Mo., that drilling down and defining your practice's core values is the key to creating a profitable practice with a cohesive team.
Core values represent your practice's fundamental ethical, moral, and professional business beliefs, says McVey, MA, MSW, CEO of Innovative Veterinary Management Solutions. They should be the basis for every financial, medical, and human resources decision your practice makes. All this might sound a bit heady, but the concept is simple.
Let's say your practice values excellence. Gather your team members in a room for a couple of hours and ask them how your practice exhibits this value. You might end up with a statement like this: We create value for our clients by providing quality and excellence in all we do and how we do it.
This value statement explains why you make certain management choices, McVey says. For instance, if you're struggling with team members who want to close the doors at 4:50 even though you're open until 5, you can explain that closing early doesn't coincide with your core value of excellence. With this type of thinking, you'll have a much easier time managing your practice.