Profit and Purpose – Why You Need Both

by Rebecca on August 12, 2012

I probably do not need to remind anyone of the importance of profit. Without profit, we would have no businesses, but I believe there is way too much emphasis on profit without enough focus on purpose. I wonder what would happen in animal hospitals if the focus shifted from profit to purpose.
profitandpurposeWe have been in many hospitals that post daily, weekly, or monthly production goals on a dry erase board-the proverbial carrot on the stick. I have also seen a calendar where daily appointments were written in different colors depending on if the goal for the day was met or not-again is this motivating? No, I think it is actually demotivating to your team, and research agrees with my feelings.

Research has clearly shown this type of “motivation” is not motivating at all and probably serves to demotivate your team more than anything (see Drive by Daniel Pink.)One corporate hospital we went in recently had the best week ever in terms of production, but they were not even excited about it. Why? Because they knew people in corporate offices many states away would just want more from them. Where does it end? No one working in an animal hospital is a machine, but when the focus is so strongly on profits rather than purpose, that is exactly how people are made to feel.

I can assure you no veterinarian or other team member decided to get into veterinary medicine because they wanted to make a ton of money-yet that is what we think determines their happiness. Don’t get me wrong, your team does need to make a decent salary, BUT that is not a real motivator for anyone working in your hospital.

What they want is to be part of something bigger than themselves-to fulfill a bigger purpose. Does your hospital have a true purpose, and does your team know what it is?

If you have a purpose, I challenge you at your next team meeting to hand everyone a blank card and have each of them write out your hospital’s purpose.

If you have not figured out what the purpose of your animal hospital is (above the obvious things) then there is no time like now to start figuring that out!

Are you willing to take the challenge?

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