Episode 74 – Revolutionizing Your Veterinary Practice with Dr. Christine Staten: Insights, Hiring, and Compensation Strategies

the whole veterinarian podcast episode 74
the whole veterinarian podcast with christine staten

Ever wondered about the secret to a thriving veterinary practice? Look no further, as we introduce you to Dr. Christine Staten, the visionary behind the Veterinary MBA. With her wealth of knowledge from over two decades of experience in the field, Dr. Staten brings you a treasure-trove of insights on navigating the tricky terrains of veterinary practice ownership. Hear her elaborate on aligning your team’s purpose, vision, and core values with your mission, and witness the transformation in your team’s dynamics.  We also touch on fostering a culture of recognition and motivating your team through regular huddles. Tune in to uncover some of the strategies that will revolutionize your veterinary practice, and don’t forget to connect with Dr. Staten to dive deeper into her educational programs.

Do you feel like it’s possible to find joy and positive change within veterinary medicine? Are you looking for a community that’s striving for fulfillment rather than perfection? Hey there, I’m Dr. Stacey Cordivano. I want veterinarians to learn to be happier, healthier, wealthier, and more grateful for the lives that we’ve created. On this podcast I will speak with outside of the box thinkers to hear new ideas on ways to improve our day to day lives. Welcome to the hole veterinarian Hey there, this episode is so amazing, you are gonna get tons of actionable information today. I’m so excited to introduce Dr. Christine stain. She is the founder of the veterinary MBA and the mission of her company is to help veterinary practice owners thrive by providing real world business education and resources born from Christine’s 20 plus years of service as a veterinary practitioner and practice owner. Christine understands the difficulties that veterinary practice owners face on a daily basis. And it’s her goal to provide high quality concise business information for practice owners from a pure perspective, she is so generous in what she shares both on social media and in today’s episode, so make sure to check out the show notes for ways to connect with her. You’ll be able to find her online, find her courses and connect with her see if there’s anything else she may be able to help you with. She is so passionate about this project, and I am so thankful of the time that she spent with me. I hope you enjoy this episode. If you found it helpful, please share it with a friend because we all know that almost everybody out there and vet med is in need of tips and tricks to improve hiring in their practices. Please make sure to let us know what you think. Platinum performance is proud to support the whole veterinarian. For nearly 30 years we’ve stood beside veterinarians with advanced nutrition for the health of your patients and practice, a platinum performance. We know the power of nutrition starts within. Hey, Christine, how are you? I’m fantastic. How are you doing? I’m pretty good. Thank you for being here with me today. We have a lot to talk about. And I am curious if you can tell listeners, before we really dig in a little bit more about yourself and your journey and like why an MBA and where you’re kind of at now. Sure. It starts a lot further back when I was an undergrad actually after I was an undergrad. Since I was five years old. I always knew I wanted to be an obstetrician. I had no desire to be a veterinarian. And that’s like that’s like the opposite of like, since I was five years old know what everyone else shows like since I was five years old. I wanted to move it. That’s awesome. Right? My puppy didn’t die from Parvo like I have no good story of why I wanted to be a veterinarian at the beginning. So I was a pre med student, I volunteered at human hospitals. I was pre med and had a pre med club. I started at my high school, I was pre med all through my undergraduate I took my MCAT I applied to medical school. I went in interviewed at medical schools, and I did seven interviews back then everything’s live. And every single interviewer asked me, Why do you want to be a veterinarian? Which I thought was super weird. So and I stumbled over the answer. And the reason they asked me this I now know is because I was a forage kid. I had multiple animals at my house I raised and showed goats a right or I had horses that I showed, I showed my dogs. I have probably seven species in four h i was a forage leader at that time, there was something I was really passionate about. So anyway, I come back and I have my eighth interview I have to go to and so I took pen to paper to say I need to write an answer to this question like Why don’t want to be a veterinarian? Because I don’t want to stumble. Why don’t you want to be a veterinarian? Okay, I misunderstood you. I thought you said they were asking why do you Okay, okay, that makes more sense. Oh, no, sorry. They said why don’t you want to be a veterinarian? And I got an answer. Well, so I literally put pen to paper thinking, I need an answer to this so I don’t stumble and it hit me honestly, like why don’t I want to be a veterinarian. So I super analytical. I set up a pro con list of physician and veterinarian and I wrote things out and there were lots and lots of reasons to be a veterinarian that immediately made me switch like I pulled all my applications from medical school because I didn’t want to know if I got in and then I had to call my parents and tell them I did This, after all this time and investment that they had helped me through, that I was married at the time, and my husband and I decided that we’re just going to do this crazy thing. And one of the main reasons was entrepreneurialship. So I knew I wanted to own a practice. And in the world of being a physician, owning a practice is a lot harder. There were lots of other reasons. But for what we’re talking about today, I knew I wanted to own a business, and that that was important to me. And that was a main reason that I switched veterinary medicine, I had to go back to college and take more classes. I worked with my local veterinarian who’d been my vet since I was nine years old, for a long time, and then was blessed to get in to veterinary school and never looked back. And so grateful for what I did. So I knew I wanted to be a business owner. Immediately the practice I was going into as a solo practitioner, she’d been ambulatory by herself, nobody for 20 years. And we had talked prior to me joining her that the path to ownership was already established in my first contract. So we had a five year path to ownership in my first contract, because she was excited about me wanting to do things with the practice. And it turned out to be only three years, within three years, we hit all the marks that we wanted to hit, and I was able to buy into that practice three years out of vet school. So I loved that part, always. And I always wanted to get an MBA. And I always wanted to be a really good business leader. And I wasn’t at the beginning. But my partner had no interest in the business side of it. But she loved that the practice was gaining equity, as she. So it was a good relationship. And she retired seven years ago, I think. So I’ve been a sole owner since then. But we built the practice up from just the two of us to now over 55 people and I wanted to do better, I always want to do better, I want to lead better, I want to build better, I want to create a good place for people to work, honestly. So going back to get my MBA was for my practice, it was just kind of selfish, like, I want to learn this better, so that I can apply it to my practice. That’s amazing. I think that’s very admirable. I think we could use a lot more really good leaders in veterinary medicine, to be honest, if we’re thinking about culture change, and you know, making veterinary medicine a more positive place. Okay, so we talked before we recorded about what we want to talk about, because you and I are both interested in a lot of similar topics. But I think one that I haven’t talked about much on here and actually myself personally could use insight on is hiring team members. So you just mentioned you went from two to 55. So I think you have some experience in hiring. So I’m curious, where do you even start? Well, I started by making a lot of mistakes, I did it wrong. And I was the hire like I was the HR person at the beginning for quite a while. My husband quit his job and joined our practice in oh six, because we really needed help. And he was a manager in the utilities area, nothing to do with veterinary medicine, but he knew how to manage. And he’s currently our CFO and does all of that part. So I’ve not done a lot of the money part myself. But in terms of HR that was on me for quite a while I now have a manager that does that for me. But I think the first thing now looking back what we need to do and what we do now, that’s much better is we have to understand our purpose, what is our mission? What is our vision, what are our core values, and we have to really care about those deeply to know who we want to hire, they have to care about them, too. And we hire for our core values, almost exclusively. Like that’s the number one important thing. The people that we hire have to align with, where we’re going, and how we’re getting there. And if they don’t, they’re going to throw us all off track, even if they’re great at what they do. And there’s some phenomenal technicians and veterinarians in this town that we didn’t hire, or we did hire originally that did not fit our what we needed, and they’re doing great jobs at the practices they are is no reflection of their ability or their performance. It just didn’t align with ours. So that alignment, to me is just number one. There’s nothing you can do. You just can’t get where you want to go if you don’t pull the right people onto your team. So that’s important. And then that includes lots of things. So we have, you know, things like policy manuals that people probably have, but they don’t like they just have to have them for legal reasons. Ours matters RS is really important. We make them go over it. They read it before they accept the position in our building. They read it. We pay them to sit and read through it ask questions. We have a code of code conduct which is similar to a policy manual, but it’s line by line, they initial we go over each thing with them, you know, this is how we behave here. Is this something you want, and you can say, No, I don’t want to work there. Great. Let’s figure that out before you get in, in our building. Before we do that, all these things, then we run tests, we do personality tests, we have an outside company that interprets those for us, it’s not always a deal breaker, but it helps us know how they learn best. And if the role that we’re hiring for if they might be not a good fit, or a good fit for it based on personality tests. So I think setting all that up having structure, having somebody who’s going to care about the interview process, and somebody who’s going to care about the training and onboarding, ahead of time is really important, because you don’t want to hire this great person, bring him in, and then they’re just frustrated and flustered because we’re not training and well. So getting that established has been really beneficial to us in our practice in getting the right people in the door. Okay, so there was a lot of good information there. And we could talk about core values and like a whole separate podcast interview. But practically speaking, what does that actually look like, from a practical sense? So like, are all of your interviewees paid? So you mentioned you, like pay them to sit there and read? So is this like a multi day process is a multi step like how kind of in a more practical sense? Okay, so we break up our interviews, and this is like, super, the basics of it. Yeah. But we break up our interview, we get a lot of applicants, which is really great, because we do a lot of things to get a lot of applicants. One is that our culture attracts them. But also we look everywhere. Like if I see a waitress that I like, I’m like, I want a job. And we’ve gotten people like that, because we’re looking for people that we really think would be a good fit, not necessarily skill sets. So we have a system. And the quick version is it’s very quick, we get a bunch of applications, we skim through them very quickly, we know what we’re looking for, for that particular position that we’re looking for. So we can eliminate some of those pretty quickly. Then the other part of that is we have directions on how to apply. And if anyone applies, that doesn’t apply fall in this directions, we’re not going to go look at him, like we need to know that you can follow directions. That’s important for learning. And then we do a five minute phone interview super quick. We know we asked us a few questions, and we eliminate half the people in that, then we bring them in for a group interview. And we do a group interview, which is awkward to some people. Yeah. Is that a group of applicant applicants? Like multiple applicants for the same position? Yes. Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. So it’s really fun, because you learn a lot in a group interview, because you see them interact with each other. Anyway, then we do individual interviews, then we do what we call skills assessment, but it’s really a working interview, but you can’t call it that we don’t pay for any of those things. So none of that’s paid for. Then when we’re getting down to the last person, and we make the offer. That’s when we say you’re the person that we think we want. And that’s go over all this stuff. Now, that’s a paid time. We’re paying you to go through all this stuff with us. So they’re essentially employed, under the conditions, they agree to all these things. And we agreed to, you know, their schedule works and stuff like that. And that’s before they’re actually physically working in the clinic. Got it? Okay, that’s helpful. I think I never would have imagined all those steps. And but like you said, some of them are really quick. And it’s a good way to weed people out, I can imagine someone out there saying, like, I don’t have time to do all that. So quick, takes the same amount of time for us to process 10 applications and use two for one. group interviews make it really quick. We know what questions we’re asking. It’s not this long, drawn out process, an interview of 10 people, a group interview, plus the group interview, plus individual interviewing all 10 of those people. It’s like an hour, or an hour and a half. And that’s what we used to spend on one person. So I think we just are, we know what we want. I think that’s the big part we know are looking for now. And we can see that better, because we’re used to looking for it and asking the right questions. And so that’s based around core value your practices, core values, but also what the job description or yes, yeah, and I didn’t mention that before, which you need a really good job description obviously to, so we know what we’re looking for. We want them to see that and see what they’re looking for too. So in the actual ad, our ads are super brief. Hey, want to work here. If you’re hard working and you want to work at Adobe apply, like That’s literally, it’s not, you have to have all these things. Now they can go to our website and get all the information on how to apply. And then it doesn’t even have the whole job description, but it has enough stuff there to help. But the job descriptions were literally describes everything that they’re supposed to do, and they’re gonna do and what they’re responsible for. Okay, I like it, that’s really helpful for me personally. So I’m sure it’s helpful for someone else out there, too. I feel like I’ve fallen into a little bit of a mental trap of like, I’m not good at hiring people, because I had a couple of ticks, you know, we I was working one on one with them. So it has to be like just the right person. And I went through a couple of people and started getting like PTSD about hiring, but I did not do any of those things. So I’m definitely taking notes for the future. Okay. So another thing that I wanted to talk to you about, because I think this could be really helpful for a lot of people, and it’s a novel idea is once you have this awesome team member, and like your group of team members, paying them in a way that, you know, rewards, continued growth and things. And you have talked about this idea of a tear based compensation system. So I’m hoping you can elaborate for everybody, and then kind of explain why it works. So well. Yeah, well, all of my explanations have to start with the why and the why is always the mistakes they made. So early on, when I was HR, I would hire people and I had no idea how to pay them, I had no idea what to hire them not, I would hire them at a wage that turned out to be higher than I should have, sometimes or lower than I should have. Or I offered them a wage and they left because they didn’t take the job when I really should have hired them at a higher wage, like it was just too hard for me. And I’m saying with raises, and I didn’t know how to give raises when to give raises. We tried the annual performance review that was just kind of weird. And, and I didn’t love that you were just getting raises because you physically been here. We also tried, what ultimately happened is somebody would come to me and they present I think I should get a raise because and I’d go You’re right, here’s your raise. And then so then the quiet people weren’t getting the raises, like I was gonna say, Yeah, this for anyone who never did that yet, right. So I’m a horrible leader in there like that. I just did it horribly. And I didn’t know that I could get much better at it. I recognized in myself like, this is something you’re horrible at. And what happened, it was back when we had physical pay stubs that you got paper pay stubs, and a bunch of people went out to dinner, from the practice. And they all showed each other the pay stubs. And that was what it took for me because they are mad, and they should have been mad. They were all making different amounts. Every one of them felt like they like there was somebody was making more than them that they should be making more than it was it created a lot of problems in our clinic. And I created those problems. And I recognize that and when they came back in, in this mob and slammed their pay stubs on the desk, I looked up, and I said yeah, I’m really bad at this. Like I don’t know how to fix it. And the worst part is, I couldn’t fix it. Right then because I couldn’t just raise everybody up to the higher person because I couldn’t afford to. So I lost some good people because of that, because they were upset, and they didn’t trust me anymore. And they shouldn’t have trusted me. One of my core values is integrity, one of our clinics is and when I broke that they were gone. So I said, Well, how can we do this better, I pay my doctors based on performance, but that’s based on what they’re bringing in financially. And that doesn’t translate exactly to everyone in the clinic that can’t translate to a receptionist or they can’t always translate to a technician either truthfully. So I set on this journey to create this tear based compensation that was basically performance based and self motivated. And it took me way longer than it should have. It took me four and a half years to build this out for my practice. And it works wonderfully. But we’ve used it now for over 10 years. And it attracts the people that we want, and it retains the people that we want. So what it is, is everyone that’s hired is hired at Tier zero, no matter. There’s exceptions, and it’s kind of more complicated than this, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. They’re hired at Tier zero. When they’re in training, they’re tier zero, and then they have to hit tier one within 90 days. And then after that it’s all based on their own timing, like when they want to proceed up so each tier has hard skills, soft skills and knowledge in it. And they’re things like place five IV catheters in a cat. So that might be in a tear. Another thing might be manage upset clients well, so that’s a soft skill. Something knowledge based might be taken his test on surgical instruments. So we have tests, and we have logs where they log their skills. And then we have the soft skills that are things that they can work on. So it’s all motivated by then they bring it to me and say, Hey, I’m ready for a tear evaluation. I think that I’ve completed everything for tier three, Can I request this tier meeting? And then I go through and see if, if they did all those things. And if they did all those things, then they automatically get tier three pay now, and their tier three technician or receptionist or pet resort attendant, or whatever that is, Wow, that’s amazing. So for the soft skills is someone else marking off that they’ve seen them handle a client? Well, or it’s an honor system, like, I felt like, I had these three negative client interactions, and I really handled myself well. Oh, it’s definitely monitored by everyone in the clinic. So what we do is, so let’s say some and I say me, because it used to be me, but now it’s my manager. But somebody comes to me and says, they actually don’t come to me, they have to email. I’m ready for my tier three evaluation. Great. So then when they email that, they put all their tests and logs in my box, I pulled them out, I’ll look through those. And yes, I’ll spot check. Yeah, you did do these things. These are actual patients that came in, I’ve never had somebody falsify anything on them ever. Then I send out the tear requirements, the list of hartshill scuff soft skills and knowledge to a lot of people in the clinic via email. And I say, Mary is requesting a tier three advancement. Can you please get back to me? You know who your observations, so I send it to every doctor, I send it to key other people in the clinic that might be receptionist that might be text, whoever, we just decide who works around them the most, that should evaluate them. And it could be somebody who’s a tear below them. It doesn’t matter. And everyone’s comfortable with this. Like it’s not a secret pool, because it’s like the part of the culture of your practice, right? Yeah, we’re used to it. Yeah, yeah. Nobody’s ever trying to undermine anyone. And that’s one of the things with the tiers that is so great, is it really encourages cooperation and mentorship, you’ll hear people say, Hey, guys, I’m so close to my tier, but I need to intubate a pig. And you’ll say that during our morning huddle, and then later in the day, you’ll hear the tech go, Hey, go get someone so reliever out of that room, I gotta pick to innovate. They’re helping each other get through their tears, there’s no negative to them to help each other through, right, because everyone can get there. Yeah, yeah. So they really are helping each other. So everyone wants people to advance to tears, but they also, they want to be honest. So then we meet them. And we say, okay, read reviews are tier stuff, these are the three areas that I think we’re still going to help you with. And we want you to get through, but we don’t think you’re where you need to be for tier three right now. So let’s talk about how we’re going to get you there. And whatever that is, we’re going to support you and get you there. It’s not about Nope, you didn’t make it, Try Again, our goal is to help you as the whatever position you are, move through those tears and learn and grow. But there’s so much put on to the actual team member to do it themselves. So I have to I have techs in my practice, that are tier one. Well, we have five tiers for technicians. So I have texts that are tier two who’ve been there for years, and they’re totally happy being there. And they’re not going to advance to tier three. And they’re fine with it. And I’m fine with it. I don’t need everyone to be a tier five tech. I love having a smattering of all of them. But there’s not this hay, nobody ever gives me a raise, I deserve a raise because they know exactly how to earn more money in our practice. They know how they can do that. And even you’ll hear I had a technician say, we’re starting to save for a house. So I’m going to work on my next year. That’s the coolest thing ever, because I’m not the bad guy. That’s enough. They know how they can make more. Yes, I love that. I love that. And so all of its self driven except the first one. So to get out of zero, you have to do that within the first 90 days. And so then if that doesn’t happen, are they no longer working there, they’re usually not going to be a good fit if they can’t get through it. Because Tier one is essentially all of your orientation. Your Training, we call it establishment in our clinic. But so your orientation packet has every single thing in it that’s in tier one, they’re identical. So if you’re not getting through, essentially that means you didn’t get through orientation 90 days. And we do orientation. Well now we didn’t use to but we do it well enough now that if you’re not getting through it, it’s probably not going to be a great fit for our practice or our system. If you can’t get through that part. You’re not going to get through the other tears and you’re going to be frustrated with yourself. So we never are like up it’s 90 days. Peace out good have a year we’re talking about personal law. During that orientation process like, whoa, we need to get you up to speed in this area. This is an area, you know, and we’ll bring in, we’ll say, Okay, we’re gonna put you with this person for a few days, that wasn’t originally the planet during your establishment, but we’re gonna put you with this person for a few days, because we really need you to understand whatever charging for dentals, equine dental or something and get them through it. So we’re trying to get them through those 90 days, we’re helping them. But yeah, if they’re not getting to that tier one at 90 days, if we did our job, then they’re probably not going to be a great fit for us. Now, there’s times that we haven’t done our job. Well, we have not done the orientation. Well, the person that was orient was sick, we threw him into rooms where they should have been, that’s not fair to say, Hey, we’ve thrown in the room so much that we never really got over into surgery in these 90 days. Of course, we’re going to, that’s all of us. Yeah, sure. But if we do everything right, you should be established pretty well, in 90 days. Yeah, I asked specifically about that. Because I do feel like the hires I’ve made. I did kind of know, in that 90 day period, and if there was something more structured in my onboarding or contract or whatever it was, I think it would have been an easier decision at that three month mark to say like, you know what, this really isn’t a good fit. You know, I didn’t really have a reason because it wasn’t something that they weren’t doing because I wasn’t tracking it. Well. Yeah. And that’s a help, right? That’s a huge help for us. Because dragging orientation on for a long time. There’s not a moment where you say, Okay, this is the day it’s kind of like laminitis, right? This is the worst disease ever, because there’s not this day that you’re like, Okay, this is the day that we stopped treating. Alright, yeah, there’s not this like moment. Yeah, that’s why I hate laminitis so much, because you just don’t have that moment that day. And I think that’s kind of I mean, obviously, that’s a morbid analogy. But we’re talking reverse veterinarians, right. Yeah. So it’s the same thing having this like, at 90 days, if you can’t, it’s easy to say, Hey, you didn’t get to this. And it prevents us from doing what we used to do was literally up people in training for a year. And in equine medicine, that’s a nightmare, because they’re essentially not bringing in their own income. If they’re in the truck training with another technician. They’re a complete loss in terms of their payroll. So and we’ve spent nine months training somebody once and I are just like, what, we’ve lost control of this, like, I, I’ve paid a lot of money, I calculated it, and it’s like, Oh, that’s really expensive. Yeah. And that turned out, we just changed how we trained that person. And it worked out. And had we done that a day 60 Instead of nine months, we would have done well. And that person did great. ended up doing well. Got it. Okay. So I mean, we are talking about this from a business sense, right? Like we’re both practice owners and, you know, the ongoing costs of either replacing people or having technicians train for an entire year and the cost of that. It’s sort of a no brainer to me, I hope people understand that this idea of like, hiring well, and then paying people well, to keep them there and happy makes sense. I’m curious to hear your insight. On the flip side of that, like from a wellbeing perspective for your entire team. What have you seen this change, or these changes that you’ve gradually made? What have you seen the effects of in your team’s well being so selfishly, all of the anxiety and stress that I had with what to hire, what wage to hire for when to give raises, how performance evaluations translate into pay raises, all that is gone, it does not exist in our practice. So I think that’s huge. From a management standpoint, for my well being. It’s fantastic, right? Everyone knows their path. They everyone knows where they can go and grow. In our practice. They also know the ceiling like this, is it, like I can’t do more than this. And they know that from day one. So I think that’s fair too, because that’s a reality. If we’re, you know, only a certain percentage of our gross income goes to non Doctor payroll, we have to stay within some guidelines. And I will, I’ll say obviously, I maybe not, it’s not so obvious. We have posted in our labs to every position in our clinic and what the tier pay is for it. So tier one pays that’s tier two pays that’s three for small animal tech, let’s say those numbers change as the world changes, right. So so we will go through sometimes an increase all of them by 50 cents, so people who sit at Tier Two are getting raises without me Moving to the next year because there’s cost of living cost of living? Yes, sure, if we’re doing well, our practice knows that what percentage of our compensation goes to non Doctor payroll, and we talked about it at our meeting. So I’ll say, you know, right now we’re got a lot of people in training, we’re at 25%, we really need to stay under 21%. So let’s get these people trained. But I’ll also come in and say, Hey, guys, everyone’s trained, everyone’s doing their thing, our compensation is down now at 19%. So we’re going to be able to give a race across the board to all the tears, they know where that came from, it didn’t just show up one day, they know that’s because they increase gross within the practice. So it’s, you know, it’s based on that it’s based on law, we have people that come in just over minimum wage to work in our pet resort high school students. And so as a minimum, Arizona had some pretty dramatic minimum wage increases a couple of years ago, that very dramatic, like multiple dollars from, I think it went from eight to 12 overnight, or something it was, it was pretty insane. So, obviously, we had to take that into account. And that did affect everything above it, too. So that part’s a little complicated. But going back to the culture of our practice, how it feels in our practice, I feel like everyone’s helping everybody, there’s not competition, for you know, who makes more, who doesn’t make more, who gets the raises, who doesn’t get the raises, I think it’s a good thing, like literally rolling it out, it was hard. That is that could be a whole hour on how to do that really well. Because we made all of our employees start at Tier zero not pay wise, but skill wise, and that there’s things that I would have done a little better now that I’m better at change management. But we had a rough year, and we did lose some people. And I think you’ll, the people we lost weren’t going to fit in the system. And some of them are great people. But if you’re not self motivated to move up, you either have to be content with living in tier two, and, or not work with their network with us. Yeah, the thing that strikes me about it is the autonomy that it gives to people a bit, right? Because it’s self directed. It’s not like someone in leadership is like, hey, you’ve been at Tier Two for two years now, like, are you thinking, you know, so that’s so important in burnout prevention is to have as much autonomy as possible within your role. And I think that’s such an interesting aspect of this, that I hadn’t even really considered until you dove deeper into how it works. I think that’s amazing. So yeah, I have to imagine that the culture is much more positive, especially if the right people are there. And they’re not leaving that just for morale. And we do a satisfaction survey every year to our whole team. It’s like 27 pages long. And that’s crazy. It’s for our strategic planning, we do. And we get input from them more frequently than that, obviously, that’s just a big part of our culture. But on the strategic planning survey, there’s a question that says how would you like to be recognized? And it says public praise, private praise. It’s kind of the love languages. But public praise private praise, advancement responsibilities, gifts, I don’t remember all of them. But advancement responsibilities is always the top thing they pick. They also like public and private praise. But advancement responsibilities is what they pick. So to be able to reward them for those who have those acknowledged, I think is a really good mentally for them to we want to reward, advancement growth. We want to reward performance, we want to reward the self motivation that’s there. And they’re not just looking at the end goal. They’re excited when they get parts of it like they’ll announce it in our morning huddle. Like you guys I finally got that. Whenever I finally like Oh, my IV cat catheters are my luck. Thank you all so much for helping me get there. That’s real and happens in the mornings, like people are talking about it. We’ve got on our we’ve got a chalkboard. And on it, it says tears and people can write if they’re down to like one or two hard skills that they need. They can write their name and that skill on that board. And it will be announced in our morning huddle. Hey, don’t forget, I know is still trying to get whatever done. So I think it’s just everyone feels better about helping each other. And they feel better about accomplishing things on their own. We’re not telling them what to do. Yeah, I love it. Are you guys huddling every morning before the day starts? Yeah, we had every day our phones go live at seven I mean at eight o’clock and we have a morning huddle at 745. Very quick, quick is just an app. We work four day workweeks everyone, but we’re open six days a week. So we never have the same team on that. For there’s not a single day that like this is the Thursday team. Because one of the other things that about our job that is good is flexibility. Some people hate it, they don’t work for us. If you want to set schedule, this is a horrible place to work, if you like to get whatever day off that you want, whenever you want it off is a great place to work. Because you have to work for the sick days. And it’s variable, it’s really hard to schedule. My poor manager has to do that. But it’s good for everybody. And that’s why they want to be there. So anyway, it’s a different team. Every morning, when we just talked about which doctors are on which technicians are with each doctor where our receptionists are, we have a front desk, but we also have an incoming call center that’s not at the desk. So who’s where in case we need to get a hold of somebody. If we have any openings, if we have any clients that we need to know anything about. It’s five minutes, it’s really quick. And then we do say, we go over this kind of getting off topic, but we on that chalkboard, because I am kind of passionate about meetings not being anything that can be an email or an announcement. We have a chalkboard of announcements, and we anything that needs to be announced anyone can write anything on it. And that it’s announced for one week and then erased. So every one will hear it multiple times. So like, Hey, we got a new otoscope cover, you guys need to put it on the otoscope. Like that might be an announcement that’s on there. And that way, we don’t have to talk about that at a meeting or something, you know, waste everyone’s time there. So that’s on there. We talked about the tears at the meeting. And then then we asked how everybody’s doing and if anyone needs anything for the day. And that’s something we brought up recently. And it’s really neat. Somebody you know, last week said, you know, I’m just gonna be honest, like it was up all night, I’m exhausted. And I’m gonna push through, but just know that’s kind of where I am today. It’s a great thing to just kind of know where everyone is. Yeah. Love that. Love that. Awesome. Well, there was so much great advice here. Thank you so much for sharing. I know you have so much other information to share with people with your courses and other things you’re doing online. So tell people were to find out more about you. Yeah, so what I do is I selfishly did everything for myself to make my practice better. And then I thought, I wish somebody had told me a lot of these things ahead of time, I can tell other people about them. And so at conferences, I ended up talking to people and telling them when I thought I can do this in a much more scalable way. So I do online courses for practice owners, their master classes or workshops, I actually have a workshop on how to set up tears in your practice. I think it’s like a six hour workshop and walks you through. But everything’s on our website, veterinary dash m be a.com. Great. I’ll make sure to link that in the show notes. You’re also on Instagram at veterinary NBA, which I highly suggest everyone follow. Last question, what is one small thing that brought you joy this past week? Both my two my grandbabies had their first birthday this week. And their birthday party was at my house is the greatest. Yeah, it was the greatest, so special. That’s awesome. So that brought me joy. And I’m studying my daughter’s in veterinary school. And she’s studying for her board. So we sat together and studied tendons and ligaments and the horse legs really brought me joy. That’s awesome. Great. That’s so exciting. Well, thanks again for your time. I really appreciate you being here. Thank you so much. It was so fun. Thank you so much for tuning in to the whole veterinarian podcast. I so appreciate the time that you spend with me to connect. Please find me on Instagram at the whole veterinarian, or check out the website at the whole veterinarian.com and you can sign up for our monthly newsletter as well. Thanks again and I’ll talk to you soon.

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I’m Stacey

I want veterinarians to become happier, healthier, wealthier and more grateful for this life that we’ve created.

I understand the struggles of a stretched-too-thin veterinarian. I have also learned that with some individual work, there is a brighter side to veterinary medicine. Personal and financial development strategies have helped me find a happier place in my life and in my work. I hope to share resources that will resonate with my fellow veterinarian to allow you to become a more whole person.

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