Use the “rule of three” for corrective action discussions
Candid employee conversations about unacceptable behavior aren’t easy to have. In fact, you may be tempted to put off the discussion as long as you can. “Don’t,” say the authors of Practice Makes Perfect: A Complete Guide to Veterinary Practice Management. The task will only become more difficult.
Instead, employ the “rule of three,” note the authors of Practice Makes Perfect: A Complete Guide to Veterinary Practice Management, citing Peter Bregman, a leadership consultant.
The first time you observe the unacceptable behavior, make a mental note of it.
The second time you see the behavior, bookmark it as a possible repeat offense, and prepare to have a conversation if you observe it again.
The third time you observe the behavior, speak with the employee to correct the behavior, by saying, “I’ve noticed something three times and I would like to discuss it with you.”
Corrective action discussions are needed when an employee’s behavior is either unacceptable or doesn’t live up to agreements made previously in a performance discussion. By following the “rule of three,” you can identify whether the unacceptable behavior is a one-off, singular event or a pattern that could eventually get out of control and thus mandates a conversation.
How to structure and conduct a corrective action meeting with an employee is outlined in Practice Makes Perfect: A Complete Guide to Veterinary Practice Management. The authors also share how to recognize and deal with burnout and change, what you need to know about legal issues, the performance evaluation process, and more.
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