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Q&A: How to motivate underperforming employees


It's your job to help team members understand their role in your practice and strive to become better workers.

Q: My team members seem to expect to be rewarded for just doing their job, instead of going above and beyond. How can I motivate them to reach for the next level?

Sheila Grosdidier

A: Veterinary employers rarely talk about expectations, but expectations are critical to a successful practice, says Sheila Grosdidier, RVT, a partner with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. Bosses often say that their team members have unrealistic expectations, and team members reply that their bosses rarely give praise. If team members feel they should be rewarded for just doing their job, it's your job to set them straight.

Provide team members with specific, consistent feedback about what the standard for their work is and whether they are meeting, failing, or exceeding those expectations. State your standards clearly, train team members to meet them, and reward warmly when they are exceeded. Finally, be aware that no two team members think alike. So determine what motivation works best for each employee and find a way to fire them up.

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