What's bugging your veterinary team now?


Firstline asked team members to name their biggest frustrations in practice. Heres a sample of their answersin their own wordsand tools to boost morale and efficiency.

GETTYIMAGES/Stefanie TimmermannThey say: “I'm frustrated by the lack of consistency in procedures and policies. Our owner will set up a policy that is supposed to be absolute and then ignore it if she wishes-or modify it without informing anybody.” 

What you can do: You're the boss, applesauce. And you can do what you want-just be prepared for team members to notice. Sticking to the policies you create is a hallmark of a good leader. And team members are more likely to follow your protocols if you stick to them too. 

They say: “I'm frustrated by clinic owners and staff members not wanting to change anything. They just want to rehash the same complaints about over-the-counter products and low-cost shelter and clinic competition.” 

What you can do: Everyone needs to vent sometimes, but you may be surprised to discover your team members want to work with you on solutions when the venting is over. Think about how you can reframe the negative conversations in your practice to focus on making a plan with specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) goals.

Top 10 frustrations

1. Low pay and lack of benefits

2. Clients who can't afford care

3. Noncompliant clients

4. High cost of doing business and keeping practice finances in line

5. Not enough time to complete duties

6. The poor economy

7. Coworkers who cause conflicts or have bad attitudes

8. Clients who complain about the cost of veterinary care and don't understand the value of the service we offer

9. High turnover and lack of qualified candidates

10. Difficult clients

Source: 2013 Firstline Team Trends Study


They say: “I'm frustrated by the lack of advancement opportunities. It's highly unlikely that I can be promoted to veterinarian.” 


What you can do: Start by encouraging team members to think about training they need to take the next step in their jobs. Offer the quiz at dvm360.com/earnmore to help them plot a career path (And if a team member aspires to seek a DVM, maybe you can offer mentorship.)

They say: “I'm frustrated by my owner. I feel personal issues should stay private. You shouldn't take them with you to work. Leave them at the front door!” 

What you can do: You've probably experienced the frustration of a team member who overshares. Have you ever been guilty-maybe just a little bit? To put yourself to the test, try the “Choose Your Attitude” exercise at dvm360.com/badattitude

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