Every person at our practice has an important job to keep this business running smoothly. But our reception, kennel and lab team members don't always get along. I wish all areas could be more understanding of each other's jobs. But sometimes it feels like we're considered expendable. How can we bring our group together as a team?—Feeling expendable
To prepare for a meeting with your veterinary team manager, write down your thoughts. State the problem in one or two sentences. Next, list two or three specific examples with approximate dates and times. Finally, offer a positive solution. "Fire Mary" isn't what most managers want to hear. Bosses want constructive steps that can help heal your team. Start your conversation with a request that respects your manager's time:
I love my job but our office manager is a big problem. She's very unprofessional and rude. She has given a tongue lashing to many clients and driven them away. I and my other team members suspect that she's stolen money, and we're sick of her attitude, the disrespect to others and her laziness. We confronted the owner about our concerns. He will have brief chats with her, but it only does good for a couple of hours. Help!
Q: A team member hangs out in the kennel area on her phone and spends all her work time texting her boyfriend and Facebooking with friends. Some of the other team members and I end up working harder to pick up the slack. How can I tell the manager without sounding like I'm tattling?—Tempted to tattle
Q: We have an inventory item that has repeatedly been short when counted. It's a very specific eye medication ordered in limited quantities, and only a handful of clients use the medication. One of the clients has recently been sent to collections, and she happens to be related to a team member. I fear that the missing medication is walking out of the clinic in the hands of an employee. How would you recommend that I approach this employee? We are prepared to fire her for the crime, but we have no proof that she's the culprit. Help! —Suspicious of sticky fingers
For the past few years, our veterinary practice's kennel business has been declining. I recently learned that an employee pet-sits for clients on the side. The other day a client approached me in an exam room asking if I was the employee who offered pet sitting. When I told him we board pets at the clinic, he said, "Oh dear, I hope I don't get someone in trouble." In fact, the moonlighting employee gave him a tour of our kennel just last week. I realize some people want a more personal approach, but the fact that the pet sitting is a secret going on behind the owner's back bothers me. Help! —Blindsided by boarding