Ask Amy: All aboard for policy changes

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Apr 01, 2008
By dvm360.com staff




Some team members consistently resist the policy and procedural changes I make for our practice, but their peers get them on board with no problem. How can I change this?

—Ignored

Dear Ignored:

Before making any assumptions about these team members, make sure you've met these criteria:
  • All team members know about the change.
  • All team members understand their new responsibilities.
  • There are no compliance barriers.

In a busy hospital, it's easy to assume everyone knows about the new procedure, but double-check to be sure. Perhaps your problem children were answering the phone during the staff meeting or were out when you made the announcement. Or they may know of the change, but they don't understand their new responsibilities or how to complete the tasks. So make sure everyone's trained properly. Then discuss any reasons team members can't follow the new policy. Maybe they're constantly called to the reception area when the new policy requires they collect the blood work for pickup.

If these strategies don't correct the problem, treat the lack of follow-through as a performance issue. Make it clear that it's their job to follow the practice's policies, and failure to do so has consequences. These consequences can range from a reduced raise to termination, depending on the importance of the procedure. Document these infractions as you would any other, using verbal warnings, written warnings, or performance improvement plans.

—Amy