Human resources mistakes and how to fix them (Proceedings)

Human resources mistakes and how to fix them (Proceedings)

Oct 01, 2008

Have you ever been asked, "Why re-create the wheel?" It's a valid question and one that you should always keep in mind when it comes to business. In today's session we will look at solutions to common challenges.

To help practitioners recognize and proactively address five common human resources mistakes and provide tools and strategies to address or even avoid them.

  • Effective human resources are necessary for a successful business, but it doesn't have to be a necessary evil.
  • A proactive approach to our team member's development will increase profitability and foster an energized, productive work environment.
  • Recognizing and avoiding common mistakes will set you up for success.

1. Approaching the subject of human resources and team building as a negative force.

Solution: Focus on what is working well and then compare to what isn't. The use of the AI Process is key. Management experts have long counseled business owners throughout a range of industries to utilize the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process or theory in evaluating and implementing organizational change. It's a great tool that you can use to help you identifiy strengths among your hospital team members and build upon them.

What is AI? In a nutshell, it's an idea that encourages you to build upon your business around what works rather than tyring to fix what doesn't. Through the AI process, you'll empower your team members by recognizing each individual's strengths and unique skills. This helps you identify key areas in which they excel so that you can make personnel adjustments accordingly.

For example, let's say that your lead receptionist is great with details and is an organizaitonal whiz. However, she may lack in interpersonal skills — or not come across as a "people person." This really isn't the type of person you want meeting and greeting clients as they come through your door. So maybe you should consider moving this person into a practice manager role where she's still minding all the key business details but not interacting with the public so much.

During this session, you'll learn about the key components of the AI process, how you can utilize them, and what you can expect as far as positive change for your business.

2. Overlooking those moments to excite your team members about veterinary medicine.

Solution: Create a practice culture, much like a brand. Clue your team in on the big picture.

Use teachable moments to build your practice. Ken Blanchard who wrote the One Minute Manager says you need to catch people doing things right. In fact he recommends spending an hour a week on this mission.

3. Not realizing adults learn and handle conflict differently.

Solution: Learn how to identify and use different tools for better communication and effectiveness.

Once you can identify them they will improve not only internal communication but interaction with your clients.

4. Not only underutilizing team members' assets, but often not even recognizing those assets in the first place.

Solution: Encourage personal and professional growth. Examples: Pair an idea generator and a detail-oriented person on a project rather than two idea people who might overlook the details. Develop individual niches, such as encouraging a technician to become the go-to dental person, etc.

5. Don't have clear expectations, standards (SOPs), job descriptions and accountability.

Solution: Standard operating procedures tell your team exactly what their jobs entail, the performance level and professionalism you expect, and the reasons behind the business decisions you make. With everyone one the same page and working toward the same practice goals, you become a unified force for excellence. There are differences between a SOP and a job description. However you must understand both and have both for your business.


1. Job Description

Answers "What am I supposed to do?"

  • List of tasks
  • Answers:

2. Standard

Answers: "How am I supposed to do this?"

  • Level of performance or quality
  • Can apply to tasks in the job description OR stand alone
  • Standards and descriptions may overlap
It is important for realize effective human resources is essential to practice success. We need to embrace and not run from, this responsibility. Recognizing common pitfalls and how to avoid them will enhance practice branding and team building.