It’s a practice owner’s job to align the team with his or her vision and move the practice forward. If you haven’t written down your vision and shared it with your team, your staff isn’t working toward a common goal. Sure, everyone knows that you want to “help pets,” but you have to get more specific. Vision is the foundation of a successful business because it serves as a compass, pointing everyone in the right direction.
Define Your Vision
As defined by Gino Wickman in his book Traction, vision is a clear definition of where your practice is headed. The way I define it is what your practice would look like if you had no encumbrances, meaning you had all the time, staff, money, and energy you needed, and everyone wanted your services.
When you write your vision statement, talk about outcomes and feelings. Define “who we want to be.” Talk about what’s going to happen in the future if the team works to achieve the mission and lives by the organization’s core values. Make it as specific as possible so that your team and your clients can buy into your perfect future, as in this example:
“Venice Veterinary Hospital is known for its modern facility, state-of-the-art equipment, highly skilled doctors and staff, and comprehensive services. We pride ourselves on being the most trusted provider of uncompromising medical care and customer service in our market.
In our ever-expanding practice, we treat clients and their pets with great compassion and respect. We focus on educating clients one-on-one about pet health and wellness. Open
communication–with our team and our clients–is a priority.”
Share Your Vision
After you write the vision, continuously communicate it and clarify how it relates to the day-to-day work at your practice.
To start, hold an all-hands kickoff meeting to share your vision. Give examples of behaviors that demonstrate alignment with it. For example, brainstorm with the team how each person can contribute to educating clients or show compassion and respect. Save time for a Q&A session at the end.
Then, schedule short, quarterly, vision meetings every 90 days. As a team, identify answers to questions such as, “Where have we been? Where are we? Where are we going?” The leadership team should be prepared to provide data to support the discussion.
When It’s Not a Fit
It’s your business, and you have the right and obligation to expect each team member to understand your vision, share it, and work to achieve it. Some people will find that your company is not a good fit for them and leave on their own. For those who don’t align and don’t make the decision to leave, you must let them go.