Survey gauges practice managers’ concerns about owners

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​The relationship between practice managers and owners is based on respect and appreciation but is punctuated with concerns, according to a 2014 survey by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association.

The VHMA distributed the survey form electronically and via the association’s booth at regional and national veterinary conferences. The respondents were 425 practice managers and 88 practice owners.

The survey asked: What would you like to say to your practice owner or practice manager but don’t know how to? Respondents could select as many of 14 options as were applicable and could write in answers.

More than 40 percent of managers wanted to communicate that owners’ failure to follow and enforce practice policies and procedures undermines the effectiveness of managers.

Among managers who were related to owners or personally connected to them in another way, 31 percent said they would tell owners, “You are resistant to change.”

Among managers who wrote in answers, 25 percent listed some variation on the concern that they don’t feel that owners value their contributions to the practice.

On the flip side, 28 percent of managers would like to tell owners, “I don’t think I thank you enough for all your support.” In addition, 37 percent would like to say, “Thank you for creating an environment where I enjoy working.”

In the write-in answers, 23 percent of managers expressed concern about practice owners whose commitment to the practice appeared to be weak.

Among owners, 40 percent would like to tell managers, “I don’t think that I thank you enough for all that you do in this practice.” On the other hand, 28 percent of owners thought they the owners were spending too much time doing things in the practice that the manager should be doing.

In general, owners’ perceptions of managers were extremely favorable. The number of owners identifying any of the concerns among the options was relatively small.