Before going through an extensive analysis regarding the benefits and the importance of an effective team management for organizations and more particularly, team management for veterinary clinics, it is very important to separate and appoint some important definitions regarding the specific subject.
What does actually the term „management” means and what does it differ from leadership?
Can those two terms coexist or addressed in a completely different context?
Searching the web, individuals could find too many definitions that separate these two concepts. Inspiring people such as Steve Jobs, Peter Drucker, Daniel Coleman and many others have either attempted academic research or empirically set their own definitions and clarify these concepts.
A commonly accepted definition according to the American academic and pioneer of the subject was given by Warren G Bennis (1925- 2014) „Leaders are people who do the right things; managers or managers are people who do things right.”
In simple words and in more comprehensible words, leadership involves creating a vision for the future and the progress of an organization, communicating that vision, and finally supporting the people who share this vision. Managers, on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring the effective and successful implementation of the vision.
Within the framework of the Project COMVET “Developing Communication Competences Among Veterinary Doctors”, co-funded by the Erasmus+ Program of the EU, and throughout the research until now, it was revealed that veterinary doctors who maintain a private clinic, beyond their diagnostic scientific responsibility, in addition to communicating with themselves animal owners, are additionally responsible for the effective management and management of their staff.
Being a veterinary doctor and being good at giving diagnosis and good in surgeries is not in itself enough to ensure the success and smooth functioning of the private veterinary clinic. Clinics should be operated like all other organisations, in order to be business efficient, customer oriented and with motivated and willing to help employees.
What are the elements that will help the clinic owner – veterinary doctor – to ensure the smooth functioning and compliance of the workers?
What needs to be done to manage and communicate vets’ vision effectively and efficiently to their team ?
Giving the right feedback
It is the vet clinic owner and manager’s responsibility to establish, remind and guide the employees towards the clinic’s goals. Part of the feedback is to encourage employees, to demonstrate their strengths and weaknesses, and to provide guidance for improvement in the fields that the employee needs support. Correct feedback should be provided at frequent and often predetermined intervals, and through this process, the employee can also take up positions on issues related to the organization.
Inevitably, a group of personnel will be happier if there is a good climate among them and they have the feeling of being members of a team with common goals. Empirically, this cooperative environment in the workplace has the characteristics of a highly performance environment.
In order to achieve this, it is necessary to encourage team members to work together under common values and targets. In your team, each employee has its strong and weak features. The goal of encouraging teamwork is to highlight the strengths and the special characteristics of each employee that create added value for the clinic and for the whole team. It is important to ensure that each employee will know the value that each colleague provide and encouraged to build further on that.
Avoid Burn Out of Employees
As a manager, you (as veterinary doctors) have the responsibility to set the working, overtime and relaxation limits for your staff but also for yourself. It is the responsibility of the vet / owner or partners of the clinic to chart these policies that will give them a work-life balance.
Rewarding might be very important for managing the clinic’s team. By reward, we mean formulating and implementing strategies and policies designed to reward employees of an organization fairly and always in accordance with the values and capabilities of an organization. Rewards management aims to create both employee loyalty and motivation.. The possible reward options that clinic owners can use are too many, as employee rewards can be either monetary or verbal or provide extra benefits such as extra holiday days.
As a manager, you are responsible for investing in employee development and creating Individual Development Plans together. These are specialized strategies for achieving new goals and developing new skills.
Enhancing engagement through rewards
(Reilly & Brown, 2008)
Managers should analyze the existing performance culture of the organization and develop an engagement model which describes what brings people to work, what keeps them in the organization and what motivates them to perform whilst they are there. Also managers should define the drivers of engagement for different categories of employees. Lastly managers are responsible to assess and define the reward elements that affect engagement for the different groups of employees and develop reward programs which will enhance these different aspects of engagement.
Author: George Koulas
Charakis Research & Consulting Ltd