Once you’ve established a framework for your staff meetings, it’s time to focus on fun. Rather than scheduling another ho-hum lecture, embark upon one of these tried-and-true activities from Brian Conrad, CVPM, practice manager at Meadow Hills Veterinary Center in Kennewick Wash. You’ll bond—and entertain—employees.
A week before a staff meeting in February, give each team member a package of Valentine’s Day cartoon cards—the ones elementary school children pass out. Ask staff members to fill out a card for each of their co-workers that lists at least one positive trait they admire. Exchange the cards during the meeting. Then let employees read them and choose one or two of their compliments to share out loud.
Teach your team about relevant topics, like these:
Ear disease. Many clients get frustrated and leave a practice because this condition is mismanaged. Learn about at-home care to help clients prevent the reoccurrence of pus, bacteria, yeast, blood, fungus, mites, foreign bodies, and so on.
Difficult clients. The holiday months bring out the best—and worst—in all of us. Discuss what to do when a pet owner enters your practice with an agenda to attack.
Spend the last five to 10 minutes of every meeting focusing on what’s going right in the practice. The topic may be client retention or compliance rates, someone’s five-year work anniversary, or the heart-felt thank you card one of the technicians received from a client. Whatever the reason, congratulate your team for a job well done. What’s more, pointing out positive behavior encourages more of the same.
Divide your staff members into teams and send them out—armed with digital cameras—to look for a list of items that can be found within your community. (Plan ahead and ask various team members to volunteer to bring their personal cameras.) Instruct them to photograph any items from the list that they find. After an hour of searching, ask the teams to return to the practice to tally up the points. The team with the highest score wins. An added benefit: Employees will strategize and learn to work together. Here are the complete rules and a sample list of items to find.