What goes on when the management team meets behind closed doors? Dr. Kevin Lowe and the leaders at Flint River Animal Hospital
in Huntsville, Ala., are taking the mystery out of meetings by including their head technician, Slade McElroy.
McElroy's role at management meetings is to present the general vibe of the staff and their concerns—things that most staff
members would not generally want the manager and owners to hear.
"Slade has a maturity level that helps to prevent him from falling into the rumor mill and speculation," Dr. Lowe says. "During
these meetings, he can bring up concerns and criticisms of management, doctors, and others without any consequences. We make
it clear that we value hearing both the good and the bad as well as how we can make everything better."
McElroy also offers valuable input into how other successful practices he has worked for have implemented strategies. For
example, he's creating a communication summit to offer training for staff members who answer the phone.
"Fellow employees bring concerns to me first," McElroy says, and we bounce ideas around so we can find solutions. It does
take a special ear and imagination to turn problems into solutions. I communicate with the owners and office manager and I
know my opinion will be heard and it matters to them."