VHMA gave members a chance to play “Dear Abby.” Although our experts steered clear of topics related to love, parenting and roommates, they did have quite a bit of advice to share with new managers. One-hundred twenty three members responded to the survey that consisted of three open-ended questions.
When asked what advice they could offer a manager regarding the establishment or management of standards for patient care, 28 percent advised newbies to create and maintain clear and high standards of care that all employees are aware of and agree to. Eighteen percent stressed the importance of communicating standards to all team members and 12 percent said to put the patient first.
Miscellaneous answers included: become AAHA accredited, treat every patient as a member of the family and develop a good relationship with the practice’s veterinarian so that you can more effectively provide constructive feedback if needed.
Respondents were then invited to share their secret to effective client care. The two most commonly mentioned responses were: make great client care at all times your goal and listen carefully to clients’ concerns and comments in order to assist them in making good decisions. Each was listed by 20 percent of respondent. Nineteen percent advised that managers follow the golden rule and treat their clients the way they would like to be treated. Others mentioned the importance of honesty and following through on promises.
The final question focused on sage advice for improving staff management. The most prevalent responses fell into three categories---delegate and guide, be open and communicate, and be respectful.
The remaining responses addresses these issues: value employees’ opinions both personally professionally, be very careful when hiring employees and assess their qualifications carefully, value the strengths that each employee brings to the table, and lead by example.
And there you have it, from those who know---free advice to put novice managers on the fast track to success!