"Lead by example and establish a workplace culture that rewards team members when they improve themselves," says Dr. Ernest E. Ward Jr., owner of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C. How do you do that? If you want to inspire team members to pursue a specialization, pursue one yourself. If you want employees to become interested in continuing education, let them know when opportunities arise—and attend with them. Tip: If you promote a CE opportunity, be willing to rework schedules to ensure that anyone who's interested can go.
Dr. Ernest E. Ward Jr.
The key to motivating your employees is demonstrating the behavior you desire, Dr. Ward says—both in and out of a practice setting. "I want my team to be informed and interested in veterinary nutrition, fitness, and preventive care, so I enthusiastically discuss these topics with them at every chance, both one-on-one and in a group setting," he says. "When team members express interest or go the extra mile talking to clients on the issues, I publicly recognize and praise them for their efforts." The goal is to encourage people to be the best they can be and provide the highest standard of care.