03 Jan New Year, New Mindset!
Vet Dynamics’ list of simple New Years resolutions can instantly help you and your practice:
It’s tiring running a vet practice, isn’t it? And it’s all too easy to become jaded and depressed. Blue Monday, known to be the most depressing day of the ENTIRE year was Monday 16th January. Just in case you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders, here is a list of simple mental re-frames you can do, right now, to change your mindset and begin to create the best year ever. There is huge power in deciding now how you want this year to be, and these 5 statements will get you started on the right track to lift your business and start as you mean to go on.
Now, repeat after me:
1/ I will….. Not try to do this alone.
You don’t have to be all things to all people. No one person can do every part of the huge job that running a successful vet practice involves. Prepare to build a team around you this year that can get involved in the multiple aspects that need doing. Are you on Facebook? Maybe? Do you know as much about it as that young RVN who uses it every day? Could she (he) be the best person to look after your practice page?
It’s the same with showing some love to the practice staff. They all need recognition but where do you find the time? You will probably have one member of the team who has what we call ‘Blaze’ energy – they will be the one who is everybody’s friend, the centre of any chat or social event and always knows what to buy for the multiple birthday/engagement/wedding celebrations in your practice. Could this person take on the ‘staff appreciation’ role and organise a team building event for you once a year? Could they create a staff appreciation board where your team can post positive things, stories, client thank you’s and nice things people have done for each other?
2/ I will …Not try to please everybody, all the time.
Because that way, madness lies. There will always be a rota that doesn’t suit everybody, but days can be lost going backwards and forwards trying to balance all your strong characters’ wants and desires. What helps is a robust system of challenge and change where, if someone is unhappy, it’s clear exactly who’s responsible for that shift until it’s adjusted/swapped. Again, having a ‘rota champion’ might be the answer. Do you have a ‘Tempo’ energy person, used to processes and spreadsheets and who gets a buzz from helping organise other people? This person could be your secret weapon in building some systems that other people can then get on and run for you.
3/ I will… Not judge everyone else by my standards.
Because you will always be disappointed. Individuals are built differently, have different life references and experiences to draw from; only YOU react like you do! Don’t think that just because you can do 15hrs without a break (or thanks) that your staff will want to or be able to do the same. You are also the boss, and that is a totally different mindset. You get very different rewards, you hold the vision for your practice, you know why you get up for work each day, don’t you? This brings us neatly on to:
4/ I will … Make sure this year that we all share the same vision.
Staff turn up to work for you, and give you their time in exchange for the money you pay them. But shouldn’t it be more than just that mercenary exchange? This is where you say yes!
Here’s why. If your team are just turning up and marking time every day until they can hang up their scrubs and go home and watch EastEnders again, you will never have engaged, motivated team players. Bluntly, I just don’t think the veterinary industry pays well enough to motivate staff by remuneration alone. This could leave you vulnerable to the next corporate vets opening up a shiny new practice down the road and offering them just a smidgen more cash – can you really afford to lose people? Recruiting good staff is getting harder and keeping the ones you’ve got is becoming even more vital. All that time and money you’ve invested in training them up needs to be protected so that you don’t have to start again. So you need to work smarter and engage your staff and give them a compelling future right where they are.
Having a Shared Vision is vital – it means everyone is pulling in the same direction. You cannot push unmotivated staff, it’s unrewarding and will lead to conflict in some shape or form. If they are involved in your business and feel personally linked to your business goals, you will see the results in a strong motivated team.
5/ I will… Charge for everything I do!
How tricky is this one? As a young vet in practice I would often discount because I saw the reaction my boss got when he did it; the clients adored him. But why do it in the first place? Do we want to be liked, or respected for our work? Why do we feel embarrassed charging a fair price for our services? This is a big topic, and one that goes to the heart of our professional identity but suffice to say; we are a professional service and should be proud of what we offer and our charges should reflect our professional status. But how do you get your staff to correctly invoice and charge appropriately for the work they’re doing when they fear the client reaction?
Ultimately, 2022 is up to you. Happy New Year!
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