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Practice Management
Practice HR: helping staff to help your business

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Personnel management was a hot topic at this year's Veterinary Practice Management Association (VPMA) congress. With tips on hiring, training and retaining the right staff, the lecture stream also provided a number of suggestions for improving value for clients and keeping up to date with the benefits of modern technology. Arianwen Morris reports

‘THE key to employee management and to HR is to understand something that I call the concept of 10s.’

So said Mark Opperman, president of VMC, a veterinary management firm, during a lecture stream called ‘HR boot camp’, which he presented alongside his business partner Sheila Roe Grosdidier.

If you rated your employees on a scale of 1 to 10 – 10 being the best you could hope for – anyone below a 7 would never develop to be a 10, he argued. It would take time and resources to try to fix their shortcomings and this time would be better spent developing those with a score of 8 or 9 so that they could reach their full potential.

In addition, lower-achieving staff often brought the whole team down to their level. Others might feel reluctant to put in 100 per cent effort when their colleague was clearly doing the bare minimum. ‘You should seek to actively replace the lowest link in your practice,’ said Mr Opperman.

To ensure the practice employed capable individuals, he suggested that it should implement a three-step interview process comprising an initial interview to gauge first impressions; a more in-depth follow-up interview, during which a report card would be filled out with scores for specific skills; and an unpaid working interview day to trial how the candidate …

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