A veterinary kennel worker seeks team building advice

There doesn't seem to be appreciation for kennel technicians at my practice. We do a lot of the dirty work and are treated like we aren't as good as everyone else. How can I make my fellow team members value my work?--In the doghouse
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Feb 01, 2014

Dear Dedicated Team Member:

There are many kennel workers who go unappreciated, and I am sorry that you are experiencing this. Building awareness of what you contribute to the team is the best way to gain back respect. And there are three ways to increase awareness.

Step 1: Have a list of duties and responsibilities that are delegated to kennel staff and make the rest of the team aware of the types of jobs that the rest of the team would be doing if there were no kennel staff members.

Step 2: Share numbers on the revenue and services generated by the kennel staff compared to the rest of the hospital. For example, in my own hospital kennel and boarding account for 20 percent of revenue. The medical team members were surprised to see this level of contribution.

Step 3: Ask each kennel team member to make a list of ways they have felt disrespected and share that with the rest of the team. Make sure the list includes only behaviors as examples and not specific team members. When we are aware that we are hurting other people, we tend to be willing to change.

Good luck!

—Shawn

Got a question? Ask Shawn.

Maybe you're tired of babysitting your team members. Perhaps you're looking for strategies to beat
a bully. Shawn can help. Shawn McVey, MA, MSW, is a member of the Firstline and Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory boards and CEO of McVey Management Solutions in Austin, Texas. Email your questions for him to
, then visit http://dvm360.com/mcvey to read McVey's advice on other hot topics.