The VHMA Files: True confessions of veterinary practice owners
Practice owners speak candidly about what they would like to say to managers.
So by now you know what practice managers would really like to say to owners, right? (You can read the complete dish here: dvm360.com/VHMA.) And now we're ready to spill the beans on part two of the VHMA No Baloney Survey. The survey was administered to veterinary practice managers and owners to uncover the unspoken issues—good and bad—that complicate their professional relationship. Here's a close up look at what practice owners said.
GETTY IMAGES/JOHNNY GREIG
Food for thought
In my last column I reported that 25 percent of managers revealed they feel unappreciated by owners. Ironically, 40 percent of owners said they would like to tell their managers, "I don't think I thank you enough for all that you do in this practice."
Twenty-eight percent of owners grumbled about feeling they were spending too much time doing things in the practice they felt the manager should be doing. It's not clear whether this is because these specific tasks aren't in the manager's job description or because the manager can't—or won't—perform the tasks.
The results suggest that owners can improve the work environment by serving up the appreciation and respect they feel for managers. In the high-stress atmosphere of veterinary practices, it's not surprising that owners may overlook the importance of tending to the emotional well-being of their employees. Stopping to recognize a job well done is a morale booster that can go a long way towards enhancing office relationships.
It takes a winning team to run a successful practice. Managers and owners are two essential players. They may not agree, but it's essential that they communicate and share both the positive and the negative.
A quick recap
The good news: Survey results reveal that owners and managers are supportive of each other. And they'll strengthen the bond when they address their concerns with honesty, respect and sensitivity and make sure to express their mutual appreciation out loud.
Christine Shupe, CAE, is the executive director of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. The association is dedicated to serving professionals in veterinary management through education, certification and networking.