No matter how great a leader is, he or she can lose sight of the meaning of leadership. It is easy for the definition of leadership to get lost and to forget what you should be doing as veterinary practice owners and managers to facilitate your employees’ growth as workers and as humans.
Leadership means putting others before yourself so that your practice can succeed. Therefore, you should consider yourself, your employees and your practice when thinking about leadership. Remember that the way you lead affects everyone. It’s more than just assigning tasks. Leadership means putting your employees in a position to thrive and inspiring them to keep investing in your practice
Ask yourself if you are failing your employees. Are you wasting their time?
Here are three ways you can stop leading your employees astray and start becoming a better leader.
Be more transparent.
Increase your employees’ value by aligning the company’s goals with your goals. This will help you motivate your staff and create positive outcomes for your practice. Unfortunately, many leaders don’t get their employees involved in the bigger picture.
A Gallup Survey of more than 3,000 employees of several companies found that only 4 out of 10 employees know what their company stands for and understand the bigger picture. Your practice and your employees deserve better. Being transparent can only help your business!
Stop implementing too much structure.
Veterinary practice owners can fall into a structure trap, thinking that rules and regulations are the keys to producing a solid staff. Of course, establishing some sort of structure is important, but putting too much value in it can bring your employees down. Don’t bring needless bureaucracy into your workplace.
Being a good leader doesn’t mean always being in control. If you constantly give your staff a laundry list of rules to follow, you’re probably confusing leadership with control. By doing this, you are taking away the opportunity for your employees and your practice to grow.
Think about times when you weren’t in a leadership role. Maybe you were just starting out at a practice as a veterinary student. What did you want from your boss and teachers? One of the first things that may come to mind is approachability. Employees want to learn from their leaders, get feedback and receive new opportunities. If you are not approachable, you aren’t valuing your employees’ time.
Do you need to work on being more approachable? Start by having an open-door policy. Make eye contact and smile when you pass employees in your building. It may seem simple, but it’s effective! Finally, proactively give advice. Sometimes it is hard for people to ask for help. Start conversations with your staff and give them positive tips. Then, employees will feel more comfortable coming to you in the future.
Make Your Employees Their Best Selves
Good leaders are transparent about their practice’s big picture goals, they don’t provide too much structure and they are approachable. As a leader, your goal is to maximize your staff’s time to make your business grow and to help them grow. Take these tips to heart, and everyone will reap the benefits!
Laura W. Anderson is the founder and president of Veterinary Career Services.
After significant research in the veterinary job market, Laura saw the need for recruitment services specializing in the veterinary industry and founded VCS in January 1998, with the primary goal of assisting veterinary practice owners in their hiring needs.
Laura holds a Masters of Business Administration from Boston College and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I look forward to hearing from you.