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Looking Ahead: Managers Consider Future Skills

Posted By Christine Shupe, Thursday, March 29, 2018

The world is changing and so too is the world of work. New technologies are emerging, jobs are being redefined and businesses are operating differently than in the past. The skills that practice managers use today are not necessarily the ones that will be needed in the future.

In response to a recent member survey distributed by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), the association received feedback from 327 members about the skills they anticipate will be vital to their jobs in the future.

The survey was completed primarily by practice managers (54%). Hospital administrators accounted for 30% of respondents and practice owners (9%). The remaining respondents listed office manager, credentialed technician and veterinary associate as their jobs.

Respondents evaluated the issues most likely to impact their jobs in the future. Sixty percent indicated that evolving technology would have a significant future impact, followed by changing job responsibilities (53%), new skill and knowledge demands (50%) and changing laws and regulations (42%). Ten percent reported other concerns, which primarily were related to staffing.

In a follow-up question, respondents were invited to identify the skills that will be necessary to address and adapt to future changes. The skills mentioned most often were technology (27%), financial skills (24%), human resources (19%), leadership (9%), marketing (8%) and other. Other included understanding laws, managing staff, advanced training and more.

For technology skills, responses ranged from needing training in basic programming to more advanced requests for integrating technology, preparing for digital changes and harnessing the full potential of emerging technology so that practices thrive.

Regarding financial skills, some respondents believed that they would need to acquire bookkeeping and payroll skills for their positions and others anticipated that it would be necessary to acquire high-level financial skills to ensure that their practices are financially viable.

For human resources, respondents were primarily interested in keeping abreast and learning about changing laws and regulation related to human resources.

Marketing comments underscore the need for more information about online marketing and strategies and using social media to market the practice.

In general, focused on upgrading and expanding existing skills rather than introducing unique or novel skills into the repertoire of skills.



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