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Lessen Your Workload, Improve Operations By “Lily Padding”

Portland, Ore. – iVET360, a national veterinary management services company is sharing information on an essential management strategy they implement in each of the over 90 veterinary hospitals they serve, with the hope of helping more hospitals increase their operational efficiency.

Referred to as “lily padding”, this technique is designed to alleviate the workload of managers and grow the skills of team members. Implementing this management style is a major reason for the increased operational efficiency that iVET360 clients experience.

Lily padding involves envisioning a business as a lily pond, and daily responsibilities as lily pads. Implementing the technique requires the following steps:

  • Define: Identify and define your lily pads. This may include responsibilities such as accounts receivable, inventory ordering, coordinating marketing, scheduling, and more. With the exception of managerial tasks such as payroll. Nearly every task can be defined as a lily pad.
  • Create: Create a detailed how-to for each of your lily pad. It is essential for instructions to clearly communicate each component of the task and include a troubleshooting grid.
  • Identify: Choose the individual you want to train for each lily pad. Many hospitals create a board that illustrates each responsibility and who is in charge of each one.
  • Train: Schedule time with learning employees once or twice a week to specifically train on their assigned task. Make sure you are present the first few times they perform it, as the goal is for them to be able to both execute the task and train the next person assigned to it.
  • Repeat: As you create lily pads, repeat the training cycle. Many hospitals will have the same person be the first on each lily pad, and as they learn a new task will also concurrently train the next person how to perform their previous lily pad.
  • Shuffle: One of the best things about lily padding is it creates a culture of knowledge. A person is only assigned to a lily pad for one to three months before moving on to a new task, so there is no task that only one person knows. This creates stability within a practice and provides peace of mind for the manager, who can be more focused on strategic planning and growth
  • Exit Strategy: Sometimes, the person on a lily pad is not the right person for that task. As a manager it is important to not allow them to get discouraged, it simply means their strengths don’t match up with that task. Be sure to have a strategy to pull truly struggling team members off a lily pad without disrupting workflow.

“Investing in team training is one of the best decisions you can make as a practice manager,” said Heather Romano, managing director of staff training at iVET360. “Lily padding does not happen overnight, however in time it provides the foundation that allows your team members the growth they crave and the time you deserve.”

iVET360 provides comprehensive marketing, education and business optimization solutions for independently owned primary care veterinary hospitals across the nation. In 2015 their clients experienced a 17 percent average increase in revenue and saw a 24 percent growth in new client acquisition on average.

For inquiries about iVET360 services or to register for their free monthly webinar, please visit their website at

About iVET360:
Established in 2013 and headquartered in Oregon, iVET360 is a practice management services company that provides critical support to veterinary hospitals across the nation. Their specialists educate and assist proven veterinary practices with staff development, marketing and analytics to ensure complete implementation of business strategies into the daily activities of the hospital.