In the veterinary industry, you’re only as good as the staff you have representing your brand. The individuals you hire must not only be dedicated and engaged, but they must also consistently deliver an exceptional experience to keep your clients coming back. In order to attract and retain these ‘A’ players, it’s up to you to create a workplace where people actually look forward to coming to everyday. The good news is, this isn’t as difficult as you may think. Here are a few tips to help you transform your practice into a place where top talent thrives.
Lead By Example
What makes a great leader? Among other things, it’s the ability to inspire others through support and empowerment. One of the most effective ways to do this is to lead by example. Not only does embodying the culture of your practice help others to live it as well, but when you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty alongside your employees, you will earn their trust and respect. And when you’ve got that, you’ve got a recipe for a strong, positive culture.
Communication helps to ensure that the goals you have set for your individuals, team and practice as a whole are clearly understood. But to be a truly great place to work, your communication strategy has to go both ways. That means actively seeking feedback from your employees and, more importantly, using that feedback to improve the policies and procedures of your practice. When employees feel heard and see their ideas being implemented, they’ll be much more loyal and engaged.
It’s incredibly challenging to create and maintain a strong, positive practice culture when you’re growing at too fast a pace. You can overcome this challenge, however, by being strategic about your growth. Start by implementing a solid onboarding process. This will help to bring new team members up to speed and get them immersed in the culture right from the start. And, of course, be careful about your hiring decisions. Do your due diligence to make sure the employees you’re bringing in are a good fit.
Focus on Work/Life Balance
Of course you want your employees to be committed to your practice. But you must also recognize and respect their desire to have a good life outside of work as well. If your team members feel guilty about taking scheduled time off, they’ll begin to grow bitter, which will erode any semblance of a positive culture. Be understanding and generous with your employees. Offer flexibility whenever possible and don’t just allow, but actively encourage your staff to take time for themselves. They’ll repay you tenfold.
Recognize Your Team
When people feel appreciated at work, they naturally perform at their highest level. According to The 1001 Rewards & Recognition Fieldbook, 84% of managers surveyed feel that recognition of employees plays a significant and measurable role in improved performance. Not only is this good for your bottom line, but with happier, more engaged employees, you’ll become a much more attractive place to work. So, make sure you are recognizing and rewarding your team members, often and openly. Platforms such as UPbook make it super easy to set goals, track progress and give credit where credit is due.
Would your employees rate your practice as a great place to work? If the answer isn’t a confident and resounding yes, perhaps it’s time to make some changes. The five tips listed above should help you turn things around and develop a culture that the best of the best will be clamoring to become a part of.