Who do you hire and who do you keep?

Do you have your client`s and your staff’s permission to hire your new staff members?

If you are reading this blog you are likely running a service related business like a veterinary clinic. If that is the case, then your clients pretty much have to interact with the people you hire. Ask yourself if you have taken their critical perspective into account when you hire, train, and keep your employees?

I often find business owners who are frustrated with some of their employees yet they don’t take action to either require the employee to change their behavior or to ask the employee to leave. These leaders seem to complain to everyone but the offending employee. They often avoid conflict with the offender at all costs. That makes sense in many cases because the onerous employee is typically hard to deal with.  But, any delay in eliminating substandard behavior is a big mistake.

Your clients are very likely to be experiencing the same frustration as you are. So if action to eliminate the poor performance is not taken, your hard-won clients are likely to leave your practice because you are not dealing effectively with unacceptable employee behavior.  Also, your most competent and valued employees are likely to become disgruntled by your subsidy of incompetence and substandard behavior.

In order to keep from getting fired by your precious clients, leaders have to take timely action to keep service delivery and client retention foremost in the mind of all their employees. Employees have to know that there is no work time where it is okay to be in a bad mood, or to shirk duties assigned to them. So, if you have found yourself complaining about your employees, raise your own leadership standards and deal with the problem employees so your clients won’t have to fire you to get better service.

Affordable Care Act. Things to Do

There is at least one thing that every business HAS to do to comply with the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obama Care, and that is to provide a letter from their employer with the salient identification information and saying whether or not the employees are covered by a qualified plan. You can Google search for files labeled “FLSAwithoutplans.pdf” and “FLSAwithplans.pdf”

It appears that most veterinary businesses and their employees are going to be better off under the new law than before. The days of the small to medium sized employer providing group plans are pretty much over because your employees can get better coverage at cheaper rates in the Marketplace than you can provide at any price. The majority of veterinary employees are probably going to qualify for serious government subsidies of their premiums, and they can’t be denied coverage based on pre-existing conditions or be dropped because they have gotten sick.

However, the Marketplace is very complicated in coverage, deductibles, networks, out of pocket, etc. so be sure to get the help of an insurance professional specializing in healthcare plans. Its very possible that your employees can purchase a policy that they will not benefit from because there is no providers in their geographic area.

If you want a copy of a sample letter you can give your employees, and the letter drafted by the government, go to my website, www.paladinsuccess.com and send me an email request. I’ll respond with the files you desire attached. This is a free service, and you will not be added to a distribution list of any kind.

Why errors and mistakes are good for your business.

Give me a break!

Why errors and mistakes are good for your business.

This may sound weird, but I like it when employees make mistakes. Making mistakes means two things. One, someone actually tried to do something that was perhaps a stretch for them. And two, they felt brave and comfortable enough with their employer to take action when they could have stood by and done nothing. I use these opportunities to help the employee learn and grow in their job by encouraging them to use their wisdom, education, and creativity to improve customer service.

One of the greatest untapped resources lies in the abundant intelligence and capabilities of the clinic staff. I encourage employees to bring their creativity to work with them, and to try new things to expand their value to the business and its clients. When employees get a chance to determine what and how things are done, they own the results and will put their positive energy into the success of the project. . If they are able to collaborate on how tasks can be accomplished, they are far more likely to deliver favorable results. Wise leaders explain what and when something must be done then allow the workers to tell them how it can be accomplished. The people doing the work know best how to do it. A big bonus happens when you catch them doing something right.

Giving employees a chance to express their creativity creates a positive morale boost. They will make things work if they have a say and options. Recently, one of my clinics started doing a dental promotion. The leaders collaborated with the staff to see what they thought was a good plan for the promotion. The staff took charge and came up with some very exciting ideas on decorating the clinic and getting the word out to existing clients. The results were phenomenal. Historically, the clinic had done an average of 24 dental cleanings per month. Because of the positive energy of the staff, they did 78 dentals during the promotion month. The increase of over fifty dentals in one month with the same staffing level generated an additional $10,000 of profit for the clinic.

Another good thing about mistakes is that they disclose situations where employees are simply lazy or exercising reckless and imprudent behavior or bad judgment. I use those kinds of mistakes for opportunities to spot those who are really not engaged in business of serving our clients with integrity and a quest for excellence. These cases present an opportunity and necessity for further training and perhaps disciplinary action.  To add to the misery, usually the task is taken away from the dissident and given to an overworked competent person who may feel resentment. All to often, the reward for good work is more work and the reward for bad work is less work.

One of the greatest pleasures a business owner can have is to come to work and find beneficial changes have taken place without him or her having anything to do with it. So, give your employees a break, and tap into the rich human resource that is ready and willing to contribute.