Veterinary managers: Sometime you'll have to terminate an employee (if you haven't already). Do it in a professional, respectful way.
Fire at the end of the day. (Shutterstock.com)Firing a longstanding teammate isn't most people's idea of fun, but it may go with the territory of managing a veterinary practice. At a Fetch dvm360 conference session in Virginia Beach given by speaker Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, DVM, CVPM, CVA, an attendee shared that the prospect of terminating one such employee had her so rattled that she committed an HR faux pas.
Though she'd done her research and learned that experts recommend doing terminations at the end of the day, the prospect weighed so heavily on her mind, she did the deed first thing in the morning-and with other employees in the practice. It didn't go as well as she'd hoped-although she did get it over with.
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Dr. Felsted totally understood the anxiety involved, but told everyone that even though it might not make for a pleasant day for you, letting an employee go after work is the right thing to do. This is so you can give them their dignity and privacy and avoid any walk of shame in front of anyone else. (Of course, there are exceptions, especially if a violation is particularly egregious, like workplace violence or abusive handling of a patient.)
Tackling terminations professionally is a learning experience for all managers, Dr. Felsted emphasized, and urges bosses to stay professional and put their own emotions aside in these emotionally charged conversations in the interest of the practice and respect.
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