Q. Our team members seem lost and unmotivated. How can I get them on track?
First, team members need to know what your practice's goals are, says Mark Opperman, CVPM, owner of VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. Imagine your practice as a sports team and your employees as the players. How would they perform if they didn't know the score? "I think that's the way a lot of team members feel," Opperman says. "They have no idea how the practice is doing, and I think that's unfair to them."
Next, team members need to know what they can do to achieve these goals. Whether you discuss this at team meetings or individually with team members, they need to know what they're doing well and where they're falling short. For example, if you want to increase the number of flea-and-tick products your practice sells each month, you might need to remind the receptionist to discuss a pamphlet with clients or stress to technicians the importance of educating clients about preventing the pests.
Finally, team members need to know what's in it for them. A paycheck isn't always enough, Opperman says. "Your employees are working really hard right now," he says. "You're asking them to do something on top of their regular duties, so what's the reward?" Maybe it's a free dental cleaning for a hardworking team member's pet, a restaurant gift card, or a cash bonus. Whatever you decide, it might be just what your team members need to keep them working hard.