I recommend you view this and think of the fact that the veterinary community is largely Introverts (60-70%, myevt.com). Absolutely enlightening. Allow for more solitude and inner-reflection when asking your veterinary team for their input.
Got Milk? Got Oreos? Got an employee policy manual that is up-to-date and relevant?
Over the years I have helped veterinary hospitals, lawyer offices and not-for-profits update or create employee handbooks. This past weekend, while speaking with veterinary students at WSU, we talked about “red flags” when interviewing for a job in a veterinary hospital. They all agreed, if they asked a perspective employer to see the employee handbook and there wasn’t one, they saw that as a HUGE ISSUE!
An employee handbook is a GOOD tool, for both the veterinary team and hospital management. Benefits of having an updated, “living” document include:
*clear communication of policies to employees
* saves time
* establishes expectations
* ensures company treats employees consistently
* provides legal documentation
* carefully consider policies with managers, supervisors, owner and veterinarians
* prevents misunderstandings
*and establishes legal right to terminate employees.
There are many ways you can revise or create an employee handbook, here are a few resources:
You may find it difficult to get your team on the same page when it comes to presenting a professional, consistent image at your veterinary hospital. You are not alone in this endeavor! Managers ask me about motivating their team, knowing how to engage them and what makes them work together as a team. A lot of times my answer is simply, “Have you asked them?”
Building a culture which allows for open dialog, problem solving and engagement seems to elude a number of managers. Please read a recent article created for My Exceptional Veterinary Team: How to Discuss Professionalism with Your Team.http://www.myevt.com/columns/how-discuss-professionalism-your-team
I strongly suggest, with the ENTIRE team, the week before you set down to create and initiate a professionalism policy or guidelines, you lead with the following exercise, which you can download from GoalInstitute, a Professionalism Quick Test: http://www.goalsinstitute.com/professionalism-quick-test.php
Make this exercise fun, lively and light. Put up a flip chart, grab colorful markers, ask your team characteristics or traits of a professional. Then have them fill out the Quick Test. Lead by example and explain your score (I came in as TOLERABLE, offering a large opportunity for improvement) and how you plan on improving your score over the next couple of weeks. Ask if someone else is willing to share their thoughts and ideas for improvement.
You will also find a Team Development Worksheet with MyEVT’s article. Use it for various other topics, both low and high risk topics. Start out with rather simple exercises (dress code, parking etiquette, etc) and move onto more challenging topics (smoking policies, socila media guidelines, etc).
The point is, LISTEN to your team, ask them what they want guiding their daily directions and offering help in the creation and discipline of issues that directly effect them. One common trait found amongst GREAT LEADERS, they were GREAT LISTENERS!
Cheers, here’s to your team creating their own guidelines for professionalism! RR