It has been said that the only constant in life is change, an idea we’re all too familiar with today. Change is everywhere you look; in response to the coronavirus pandemic and before as society continued its transformation into an immersive online experience and ever-changing digital world.
All this change is, of course, having a ripple effect on many parts of our economy and veterinary practices and suppliers are feeling the impact sharply. In addition to finding a new normal for day-to-day operations, the ongoing digital evolution that has been underway for some time now is setting new benchmarks for consumer expectations and changing how technology is used at every touchpoint in the customer experience.
To stay on the leading edge of medicine, to retain clients and stay competitive, it’s essential to know how to understand and adapt to change. This includes dealing with new technologies, new ways of working, and new trends in pet ownership and consumer behavior that are changing demands for customer loyalty.
Fortunately, you are not in it alone. Covetrus has created a new eBook, Navigating What’s Next: How to Manage Change in Your Veterinary Practice, full of insights and practical tips to help guide your practice’s change journey. It’s designed to help veterinary practitioners like you better understand the fundamentals of organizational change, recognize when it’s necessary, and help you effectively plan and manage change with your team.
Critical change factors affecting veterinary practices
There is no bigger issue we are all facing right now than the global coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent impact on the world economy. It has been a shock, but individuals and businesses are finding ways to adapt. And like any change process, planned or unplanned, we can now benefit from applying the principles of change management.
In addition to the new challenges we face, there have also been several ongoing trends driving change in the veterinary industry that remain important factors today. These are:
- Pet ownership – 35% of pet owners are Millennials, who are incredibly tech-savvy and shy away from traditional
- Customer experience – Today’s pet owners place a high value on experience, which includes the convenience and immediacy offered by technology.
- Practice innovation – There are technological advancements in veterinary practices that make it easier and faster to diagnose and treat patients.
- Competitive pressures – The veterinary industry is experiencing an increase in consolidation amongst suppliers and practices, which introduces new dynamics and more competitive pressures.
- Changing workforce – Millennials now make up the majority of our workforce. They have very different attitudes to work than previous generations, as well as higher expectations of ongoing professional development and career advancement.
Building a business case for change management
According to the Harvard Business Review, 60-70% of major change projects fail, often due to the lack of a focused change management process. As with all organizational success, preparation and planning can be a bit part of the winning formula.
Change will often impact processes, systems, the structure of your practice, and even job roles. To ensure minimal disruption to your patients and clients and ensure a positive outcome, it’s essential to manage change in your practice in a controlled way.
Sometimes change comes most unexpectedly and unwelcomed, and other times change can be easily put off for simply avoided in the face of competing priorities. The most important steps you can take to be prepared are to know when and how to adapt to change, no matter what’s driving it, and plan the best way forward for your veterinary practice, team, patients and client.
For more details on the information provide in this article and how you can champion change management in your practice and prepare your team for what’s ahead, download Navigating What’s Next: How to Manage Change in Your Veterinary Practice. This free resource can help you understand the nature of change, how to recognize the need for change, how to support your team through process with tips and best practices for getting through it all successfully. No matter what the next change may bring.