Leadership – It’s a Daily Job
According to the English Oxford Living Dictionary, Leadership is defined as:
“The action of leading a group of people or an organisation”
In everyday terms though, what does it really mean to your staff, and what impact does it have on your Practice?
Those in a position of leadership always have an impact, either negative or positive. There is no instance where a leader has zero impact. A leader is the core of a business from which all else grows. The staff may have a diverse and impressive range of skills and talents, but without strong leadership to direct those energies, they will never be used to their full potential.
Leadership is a skill, yet often people find themselves in positions of leadership without having being given the opportunity to develop that skill. Often, promotions to positions of management occur as a result of the ability to do a job well or when a vet branches out to establish their own Practice. Leadership comes as part of the package, but the job of leading is entirely separate from and different to the role of being a veterinary professional!
So, as a Practice Manager and/or Senior Veterinary Surgeon, what do your staff need from you?
Lead by example
First and foremost, be willing to roll up those sleeves and take the unpleasant or tricky cases. Display a positive mindset, and project that positivity. If your staff sees you embracing a ‘can do’ attitude, they’re significantly more likely to follow suit. A positive Practice is a happy Practice and a happy Practice retains staff and attracts more customers.
Encourage your staff to develop their skills
Employees are more likely to develop their own skills and confidence if they feel supported. Providing a safe environment for them to cultivate their experience encourages a feeling of inclusiveness and a sense of responsibility. The better skilled your staff, the better able they are to perform their duties. Encouraging learning also makes staff feel valued, a key element in the retention of staff.
And encourage your staff to do the same. This covers a range of ideas, from proactively managing patient care and treatment to the continuous development of your own skills. If your staff sees you committing to your own skills, they will be encouraged to do the same, over and above those requirements of continuous personal development (CPD).
Encourage a sense of ownership
Employees who feel in control of their own decisions are more likely to be motivated to grow their skills and experience. Individuals will become better able to identify and manage situations and, as time goes on, with a requirement for less direct input from you – leaving you more time to manage other aspects of running a Practice.
Running a Practice can be a busy and stressful role, and it’s all too easy to miss what’s happening, operationally, day-to-day. Ask questions of your staff, how their day is going, who is managing what, show an interest in the cases they’re seeing and managing. Conduct regular one-to-ones, so staff members have the opportunity to ask you questions without having to request a ‘private meeting’. Ask their opinions – you may just shake loose a few good ideas that will help grow your Practice further. And if you’re leading your staff well, your Practice will flourish.
Pet Medic Recruitment is a leading recruiter for the veterinary industry and supplies staff nationwide, including part time, full time, Locum and permanent roles. For more information on any of our services, or if you’re looking for a new opportunity, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org