Over the last couple of posts, we have been engaging in a kind of free-form dialogue about your practice’s software and if it really is the best fit for your practice in 2016. Really, I’ve been trying to challenge your digital/technological paradigm, and let you know that it is ok to demand more and expect more from your veterinary software platform. So far, I think it’s gone well (I hope you feel the same. If not, I haven’t given up on you yet). Yet, I think we can do better. To this point, the dialogue has been very two dimensional. What I mean is that it’s been a conversation about you, the practice owner, and your software. But, what about the people who engage with your practice’s software on a day-to-day level (i.e. your employees)? Sure, you probably engage with your software on some kind of a regular basis, but it may not necessarily be to the same extent as your employees, who are engaging with your software with nearly every task they do. Their jobs, assignments, etc. are intertwined with your practice’s software. So, it only makes sense that, at some point, they should be brought into the fold and be included in our growing dialogue.
If you’ll recall a post I authored a while back concerning millennials in the workplace, you might remember a point I made regarding the importance of inviting conversation and input. Whether this be in staff meetings, one-on-one teaching moments, or what-have-you, in this day and age it is important to incorporate the voices of everyone involved. Even though this may feel like an unwelcome or uncomfortable exercise, consider this: you, a practitioner, veterinarian, small-business owner, bring a unique point of view to the table. You see things from multiple vantage points, but at the end of the day, you see the bigger picture, the direction you want your practice moving, as well as everything it took to get there; however, despite the importance of your vantage point, it is feasible to assume that, sometimes, you can miss the minutia of your practice. This includes the small, day-to-day details and quirks that make your practice what it is. You may think you know all, and I would suspect that you do, as a person in your position should. But, the boss never knows all. It’s just a fact. Simply put, your position as boss limits your inclusion in the employee paradigm and experience. Therefore, your employees can bring a fresh set of eyes to the dialogue, a different perspective from your own. At your next staff meeting, ask your employees what they think about your practice’s software, and see where the discussion leads.
I pose this challenge to you, in part, because it was these very kinds of discussions that led to the creation of EasyDVM. We found that employees, despite saying they didn’t necessarily hate the old software, had a lot of minor complaints and suggestions for changes and improvements. Issues like having to manually look up and enter services and products for invoices, or having to navigate multiple windows just to set up appointments. When we added them all up, we realized that all of these small issues and complaints were affecting workflow and productivity. At the end of the day, nobody really spoke up because the old software had been around for a while, and it was just the way things were done. Phrases like “the way things are” or “that’s just how we’ve always done it” can be parasitic to a small business. Complacency and acceptance of the norm can lead to stagnation, leeching away at potential growth. It became clear that those who interacted with the older software on a day-to-day basis knew something the higher-ups didn’t. EasyDVM grew out of a desire to rise above this complacency. It is, quite literally, designed hand-in-hand with input from employees at all levels so that it matched up with the needs of those who would actually interact with the software on a regular basis.
So, I once again will challenge to incorporate your employees into the dialogue. Ask them what they think, and see where the conversation leads. It might surprise you.