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Maintain and Retain

March 21, 2018

Tending to your amazing culture and awesome team

Now that you have designed a great culture and added amazing people who are working as a team, it’s time to consider how to maintain this environment. Culture is a living entity which needs constant vigilance so it doesn’t decline.

The following are just a few ideas to help sustain a wonderful environment and keep the team moving in a positive direction.

Work-Life blend

While team members love what they do, they also need a break. By providing a culture of trust, engagement and support, you establish a setting where team members work hard but are also allowed to let go when they step away from the hospital.

Leverage Team Members

Each team member has a specific skill set and performs different tasks within the veterinary hospital. Identifying and utilizing talents among individuals will help leverage people, thus contributing to the overall success of the practice.

As stated in the AVMA Preamble, policy on veterinary technology, “The veterinary profession is enhanced through efficient utilization of each member of the veterinary health care team by appropriate delegation of tasks and responsibilities to support staff.”

Managers hire intelligent, motivated and engaged team members. EMPOWER THEM! Micro-managing team members kills morale.

Career Advancement

Veterinarians and managers tell me, “There is a glass ceiling within veterinary practices.” ONLY BECAUSE THEY HAVE CREATED IT! Inspired, innovative managers and team members can generate awesome opportunities for personal and professional growth when they put their minds to it.

In the Veterinary Practice News article, How veterinary teams can unleash their full potential, readers learn ways to grow their career within veterinary practices. Whether you are a veterinarian, technician, receptionist, manager or assistant, you can find ideas in professional growth. Shatter the glass ceiling!

Shared Goals and Common Purpose

What is your hospital’s vision for the future? Share or create one with everyone on your team. Teams with shared goals and common purpose beyond the daily delivery of quality veterinary care have higher job satisfaction (reference: Book High Performance Healthcare).

Competitive Wages and Appealing Benefits Package

While wages are not the sole motivator to stay or go, being competitive and offering a stellar benefits package and financial rewards will help in veterinary team retention. How do your salaries compare?

Proper Staffing

Often, I step into veterinary hospitals and everyone is terribly “busy!” Are they simply doing busy things or are they being productive and have too much to do? The role of a practice manager is to determine if it is only a perception of being understaffed or if there really is an unreasonable team member-to-work ratio.

If the reality is an under staffing issue, then what is the underlining cause? There is no doubt, scheduling can be a nightmare! However, it’s up to management to determine if the problem stems from the appointment load, surgery load, emergencies, increase in clients/patients, a combination or something else. Then steps can be taken to explain the situation to the team members and make necessary adjustments to rectify the situation.

These are just a few ways to keep your amazing team members.  Spend time, money and energy developing your professional team and maintaining the best culture for your hospital.

Yours in Veterinary Team Retention,

Rebecca Rose, CVT