Roger Cummings, a certified veterinary practice manager, is a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member, past president of the Association of Veterinary Practice Management Consultants and Advisors, and a consultant with Brakke Consulting Inc., based in Dallas.
For too long, practitioners undervalued their services, charged too little and often gave away care for free. Though this may still be true for some, others digested the message about a healthy business supporting good medicine and raised their fees. But to make this equation work, you need to raise the level of service, too.
How should I handle a chronically sick employee who calls in at the last minute or struggles to come in ill? I previously switched her from hourly- to salary-based pay, and I'm considering changing her back.
My partner and I recently learned that we're paying associates more than other practitioners in our area do. How should we get our compensation more in line with prevailing wages—with a salary freeze or a pay cut?
Let's solve your morale problem by just firing all the unhappy people. Think that sounds rash? The truth is you have nothing to gain from keeping them around. You can't change them. Yes, you can require certain behaviors, such as being on time, doing their jobs, or developing proficient skills or knowledge. But a lot of people simply have a rotten, negative attitude, and there isn't much you or anyone else can do to change that.