Do you have a constant battle dealing with staff issues? Does it feel like every day there is another fire you need to put out, fuelled by a staff member? Why don’t staff think like a business owner?
In a recent survey of vet practice owners, when asked to name their biggest challenge, 52 per cent nominated staff issues.
When the Commonwealth Bank surveyed 32,000 small businesses and asked the same question, about 60 oer cent of them said that staff was their biggest issue.
I’m going to tell you in a nutshell why this is the case. If you seem to have a lot of staff issues on a constant basis, it is one of three things.
a) You have employed someone who doesn’t fit the role you want.
b) You are not an effective leader for them.
c) There is no “bigger vision” or mission for your practice that they believe in.
Let’s look at the third possibility.
What do you mean by a bigger vision?
The best way to explain this is to tell you a story.
During the late ’60s when the USSR and America were racing to be the first to land on the moon, an American reporter wrote an article on it. He went into NASA and was interviewing staff there. He saw a staff member on his knees scrubbing the floors until they were spotless. He asked him, “What are you doing?”
The janitor looked up from his job with an enthusiastic smile and responded,
“Sir, I am helping putting a man on the moon.”
That janitor didn’t see that he was cleaning floors; he felt he was part of a team trying to achieve something amazing. He was part of something truly great. I think he would have done the best he possibly could have, without supervision. Herein lays one of the secrets of leadership: selling the mission.
Look at a football team. Are they just running around on a field with no idea of why they are there? No, they all have specific roles to play with one common mission: to win.
The question I would ask you is this. Does your practice have a bigger mission?
Do all your team know what the bigger mission is for your practice, or are they just turning up to be paid?
If you want to know the secret to being able to find great employees in a limited supply market (which vets are), find a really big mission and sell it in your adverts when you are looking for that crucial team member. Spell it out.
What is involved in being an effective leader?
This is outside this discussion as it is such a big topic. However, being an effective leader is something that can be learned. There is a system you can apply to get the best from your team. The payoff is a business that gives you a life, with minimal stress.
How to select the right person for your practice.
One of the most common questions I am asked is how best to motivate staff. Incentives, rewards, recognition, promotion – which works the best? The answer is this: you can’t motivate staff. You have to employ motivated staff.
Sure you can inspire staff by good leadership, but they are either motivated or they aren’t. Trying to motivate people who have no desire to be motivated is a tough gig. They are just not interested.