If there’s one thing that any veterinary practice can focus on in order to improve, it’s to grow your veterinary leader. With Gallup’s most recent State of the American Workplace report showing that while 30% of employees are actively committed to doing a good job, the remaining workers are either punching the clock and biding their time (50%), or acting out their frustrations and unhappiness in counter productive ways (20%). According to Gallup, the underlying reason for the discontent is poor leadership.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re an in-the-trenches veterinary leader, a department lead, office manager, or full-blown practice manager who knows the “buck stops here”—you can, and should take a look around. Take the temperature of your own team’s level of engagement. Are they “buying” what you have to sell? In other words, is your team rising to the challenges of the day, acting with commitment to your practice’s Mission, and are they inspired to excel? If the answer is no, then they probably aren’t buying you as their veterinary leader.
Becoming a Better Veterinary Leader
If you want to know how to better lead people, you need to begin by asking the people you are leading. You can start with two simple questions:
- How do the veterinary leaders in our practice hold you back from achieving the practice’s expectations of you?
- What could the veterinary leaders do to help you better serve our clients, our patients, and one another?
If you want straight, honest answers you need to assure complete confidentiality and anonymity to your team members. The best way to do this is with an online survey or poll. Here’s an example that you can take right now:
Traditionally, leadership programs and workshops have focused on the values, qualities, and behavioral styles that characterize a great leader. We all know it can take years to change the way we behave, and even longer for our values to develop and evolve. That’s why managers fail at making the transformation to inspiring veterinary leader. Instead of focusing on who you need to become in order to lead, work on the actions you can take now that will boost not only your team’s motivation, but also your practice’s business goals.
Your team will tell you what they need in order to succeed. Step up to the plate and shift your priorities as a manager to better support your team. In the meantime, while you’re waiting for feedback and input from your employees start with ARF! 3 Ways to Become a Better Veterinary Leader, a downloadable poster for your office. It will remind you that the small actions you take as a leader, can make a significant difference to those you lead.