Why won't it work for me? (Proceedings)
We have all heard of the carrot or stick approach to horse training, or the 2 × 4 approach of getting a mule's attention before training. While these ideas are entrenched in our heritage, they are not generally used; rather, alternatives are sought that will serve the same purpose. In this seminar, we'll make you look at alternatives to the reward and punishment program of your practice.
"Behavior that is reinforced, rewarded, or recognized is likely to be repeated." - or the inverse - "Behavior that is not reinforced, rewarded, or recognized is likely to extinguish or diminish gradually."
By definition, motivated people usually need no additional motivation from the practice to perform; however, in some cases, - especially during tight labor markets as we see today - the qualities of the new employee are not exactly exemplary nor is their commitment to the practice usually that high. Although we need to continue to nurture our star performers, these "less than motivated" staff members are the ones we have to reach to make the programs and promotions work. That's something we wish we could change, but in most cases, we just have to make do with what we have.Signs that Your Practice Needs Help
As veterinary professionals, we know the difference between signs and symptoms in healthcare delivery. Our patients never tell us their symptoms, we must observe the signs. In practice management, we often wait for someone to tell us the symptoms rather than watch for the signs that indicate a problem is emerging. There are signs that can be used as indicators which reflect that your practice is moving in the wrong direction. When the patient has the "ADGs" (ain't doing good), something must be done. When a practice suffers from the ADGs, we have to be able to diagnose the situation. Here are some danger signals:
These are indicators of problems looking for a place to happen. They are not unlike the vomiting dog. The signs could be a passing event that will be solved by the "tincture of time." Also like a vomiting patient, they can be an indicator of something deeper, a reason to initiate action quickly and in a positive manner. Work on your practice management diagnostic skills, it will provide for a healthier practice (and patient).