IIf my mental calculator is not askew, Caryn and I have just completed Veterinary Productivity's 350th in-house, on-site, out-of-town, hotel food AGAIN, practice productivity consultation. Each one of these veterinary entrepreneurs asked us to help improve their bottom lines. Oh, they said they wanted to streamline their services, make sure that they weren't missing any client service opportunities, yada yada yada. What they all really wanted was more money to play with at the end of each month just in case, however unlikely, they ever decided to retire.
If my mental calculator is not askew, Caryn and I have just completed Veterinary Productivity's 350th in-house, on-site, out-of-town, hotel food AGAIN, practice productivity consultation. Each one of these veterinary entrepreneurs asked us to help improve their bottom lines. Oh, they said they wanted to streamline their services, make sure that they weren't missing any client service opportunities, yada yada yada. What they all really wanted was more money to play with at the end of each month just in case, however unlikely, they ever decided to retire.
Along the way, we picked up some really neat staff motivational techniques that are sensational and deserve sharing with my veterinary colleagues around the seven seas.
I hope you enjoy this tongue-in-cheek list, and here's hoping you don't agree with any of them.
Placing pointed dunce caps on their heads will rivet their attention, and by comparison, demonstrate just how much smarter you are. Use demeaning language such as, "Really! You don't know how to do this yet?"
Fear is the second most effective tool for getting people to leap over the exam tables to get things done. The most effective tool is to lock them up overnight with two Chow Chow males who never have been introduced formally. Be subtle, place an ad in the local paper for someone to fill their position and designate each staff member to interview their prospective replacements. On second thought, it's cheaper to place a 30-foot banner placed along the front of your building saying, "Now Hiring". Don't answer any of their questions like, "Are we adding more staff?
If they ask for more information about their job, refer them to the policy manual (which you never actually wrote). If they can't find it, just sneer, "That's what I'm talking about!" and just walk off in a huff.
If their questions are petty (like most of them), then just walk away. They must understand just how important and busy today's veterinarians are. If it's an important request, then let them wait until you get around to doing it. If they wanted to feel important, they should have gone to veterinary school.
Whatever you do, don't even slow down to listen as you move from your office to surgery. Listening only encourages them to come to you with an ever-increasing frequency to whine some more. Brush them away as if they were heartworm or West Nile virus laden mosquitoes, just inconsequential speed bumps in your busy day. They want you to turn your practice into a democracy where they have a vote in what happens at your hospital, which doesn't mean doodley squat compared to increasing your bottom line and getting the beasts in and out the door in rapid succession, leaving behind sufficient revenues for your needs.
Hospital staff just has no need to know about what goes on. Remember 9/11? Security is everything. Just tell them, "Do your job!" They truly will be happier if they just keep their "cosmetic surgeon's nightmare" noses out of your hospital's overall strategy, its goals and any client or patient needs. If changes are going to be made, then just do it! It's so much easier to just implement the change than it is to waste precious minutes letting them vent their insecurities about any differences in their petty lives. Why endure other people's opinionated ideas? Why would they ever think they could come up with a better plan than a veterinarian could?
Performance evaluations are counter productive. Without the faintest idea of how you feel about the quality of their work, you can keep the fear of job loss at a higher level. It's easier to keep them disorganized and insecure, less likely to cause trouble for you. Keeping them off balance and wondering if they have any worth suppresses requests for salary increases to a bare minimum. They'll always try harder to impress you by working longer and harder. Never compliment any of their work. That just opens up the door for requesting more money.
Watch their every move; 99 percent of your staff is unbalanced in one way or another. Watch them like a hawk! They just never will "get it." Their standards will never, ever, approach yours! Wasting your time at the beginning of any project explaining what you expect is jut too darn time consuming. Just point out that everything they have done so far is wrong!
They are not children squabbling in a sandbox. They have to learn to share the toys that you, through years of hard work, have put together for them. They are grownups and should act like grownups! It's not your business to get involved in their childish business. That's just backwards from the way it should be. Who is paying whom, anyway! Stay out of the fray! Post a notice that everyone must get along ... or else!
The rest of your staff now will try to suck up to you and work longer hours to be your buddy and get some of these extra favors.
Now, none of our productive and profitable consulting practices ever have followed these eight guidelines. They just do not exist in veterinary hospitals today—certainly not in yours. Right?