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Managing people

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Abstract

Staff are likely to be the practice’s biggest ongoing expense. For most practices somewhere in the region of 40% of outgoing costs will be spent of staff salaries and recruitment. However, staff are also the practice’s greatest asset. They are the face of the practice and generate the practice’s income. This chapter looks at staffing the practice; organizational structures; equal opportunities; the practice manual and staff handbook; recruitment; shared values; empowering staff; staff motivation; teams and teamwork; staff training and development; and how to handle grievances and disciplinary issues.

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Figures

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19.1 Typical organizational structure of a small practice.
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19.2 Typical organizational structure of a large clinic.
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19.3 Typical organizational structure of a large multi-site clinic. In this example the regional manager has a strategic role, working on a par with departmental managers.
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19.4 Typical organizational structure of corporate/joint venture clinics. In this example the regional manager has an implementing role.
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19.5 A hierarchical structure.
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19.6 A flat structure.
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19.7 Matrix structure.
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19.8 The customer-focused organizational approach. Individuals in every team interact with clients across the service areas. Cross-functional teams can be created to develop and deliver new services and improve existing performance. The manager/owner sets the scene and strategic direction, and supports the service teams to deliver the best for each client. Day-to-day direction is from the team itself and from the client. There has to be a cross-team approach – i.e. everyone is responsible for ensuring the client’s needs are met, not just in their narrow ‘traditional’ team area but across the service spectrum. The manager is offset in the chart, as he/she does not hide behind the staff, but interfaces with services and clients as well.
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19.9 Reporting lines within the veterinary practice.
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19.16 An example of a confidentiality agreement.
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19.23 A member of the management team discusses rotas with the head receptionist. Good communication within and between teams is essential.
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19.34 Who appraises whom. In the case of the appraisal of the partners, it is best for each partner to be appraised by all the others

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