Over the last year, productivity has taken a massive hit in veterinary practices.
According to research from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), practice productivity dropped a massive 25% in 2020 due to staff shortages and social distancing measures .
Although these trends are looking to improve as 2022 rolls in, until practices return to relative normalcy, businesses will continue to take a hit.
In this article, we discuss some of the ways in which you can counter this by upping your productivity.
1. Identify Your Team’s Motivators
Employee motivation is intrinsically linked to productivity.
Not only do motivated team members improve the profitability of a business overall (by a staggering 21%), but they also have a much higher retention rate than less motivated ones .
However, according to a 2018 Gallup poll, only 2 in 10 employees believe that their workplaces motivate them enough to do outstanding work .
So how can you effectively boost team morale?
Involving the team in executive decision-making, embedding a strong vision into the workplace, and creating intrinsic/extrinsic rewards are all ways to up productivity.
For a comprehensive guide on how to maintain motivation at work, click here.
2. Invest In Proper Training
If you want a productive team, you’re going to have to invest in their training and development. Highly skilled veterinary teams know what they are doing in the workplace. And so tend not to waste time muddling over simple things, and they make fewer mistakes as a result of their superior training.
3. Identify Communication Gaps
Any successful manager, director, or practice owner knows that communication is key if they want a smooth-running business.
This is why plugging communication gaps in practice is so important. Misunderstandings over work responsibilities, workload, and customer care can all waste a lot of valuable time, creating a particularly unproductive space.
Heavy reliance on email alone as a communications tool is to be avoided. Instead, think about what information needs to be shared with which people.
Then consider the best communication tool for the job. In small teams, verbal communication backed by other tools is likely to remain very important. Scheduling regular, effective meetings is a hallmark of practically every well-run practice.
4. Refine Your Appointment Scheduling Process
Poor appointment scheduling can be the enemy number one when it comes to practice productivity.
Overbooking procedures can perpetually put veterinary clinics at the risk of disruption and overwhelm when inevitably an emergency shows up. Teams are then left ‘chasing the day’, running behind schedule, irritating clients, and irking team members who have to work overtime or miss breaks to make up.
Ways to improve scheduling include creating proper booking protocols, investing in scheduling appointment software, and setting up reminders to prevent clients missing or turning up late to appointments. But also foresight in how much work is pre-booked into each day.
For more scheduling tips, check out this article here.
5. Stop Micromanaging!
Micromanaging is as unproductive as it is demoralizing.
Many leaders really struggle with this aspect of management, spending a lot of time doing the work of others for them (instead of trusting their people to do the jobs they are paid to do).
Aside from being annoying to the staff, it creates another problem as the leader’s time is swamped and there is little time for the really important leadership tasks like vision creation, culture farming, and strategic planning (you can read more about this in our report here).
Instead of wasting time by nitpicking, take a step back and look at the big picture.
You need to manage your expectations and set clear (but realistic) goals for your team. If you want a specific outcome, be clear in your instructions, and trust that you have given your team enough guidance to reach the ‘right’ outcome without your oversight.
In time, they’ll get better at understanding your standards, and achieve them without coddling.
The Bottom Line
In this article, we’ve covered some of the key ways you can improve productivity in your veterinary practice.
Once you have implemented some of these strategies, you will be able to work with confidence knowing that your team is working to their full potential.
To get more insight on how to lead your team, check out our leadership report. This report outlines precisely what actions you need to take to improve the culture of your practice.
1- ‘Are we in a veterinary workforce crisis?.’ 15 Sept. 2021, https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2021-09-15/are-we-veterinary-workforce-crisis. Accessed 30 Sept. 2021.
2-‘11 Need to Know Employee Motivation and Engagement Statistics.’ 11 Mar. 2020, https://edume.com/blog/employee-motivation-statistics. Accessed 30 Sept. 2021.
3-‘Why Leaders Need To Embrace Employee Motivation – Forbes.’ 20 Jan. 2018, https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2018/01/20/why-leaders-need-to-embrace-employee-motivation/. Accessed 30 Sept. 2021.