Most of us approach a new job with seemingly boundless enthusiasm. Over time, however, the daily grind and routine can chip away at that excitement and leave us just simply going through the motions. This is especially the case in an emotionally draining field like veterinary medicine. But keeping your team plugged in and engaged is an important part of client satisfaction, which ultimately impacts your bottom line. Here are a few ways to reignite that fire within your employees without having to spend a ton in the process.
It’s been said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Sometimes we need a little push to get us to that point, and as a practice owner or practice manager, you’re in a great position to do that for your team. Give them tasks that are new and challenging to complete. This will empower them and give them a sense of accomplishment. As a bonus, your team will continuously learn and grow, which will benefit your clients, your patients and your practice as a whole.
You’d be surprised at how far a pat on the back or outward display of appreciation can go toward motivating an employee to perform at his or her best. Don’t skimp on the praise. Give it freely and often. If you can reward your team with something of value, like a cash bonus or a gift card, great. If not, do the next best thing. Write a note of kudos on the office whiteboard. Point out a job well-done at the next team huddle. Give out gold stars for name tags. There are almost endless ways you can recognize your employees. It doesn’t matter how as long as you make it a priority.
Encourage and support their growth.
Continuing education is something we all have to do in the veterinary industry. That doesn’t mean that’s the only opportunity to learn and grow. Encourage your employees to explore their interests and reward them for expanding their knowledge base. Offer periodic training and allow employees to attend classes, seminars and other educational events. Not only will this give them a boost of confidence in themselves, but their professional development will bring added value to your practice.
You know your employees are well-qualified and highly capable. After all, you’re the one who hired them. Push them to their fullest potential by giving them more responsibilities. Entrust your team with new tasks and then let them find their way. Guide them when needed but let them make (and learn from) their own mistakes. Encourage them to stretch and improve themselves. They’ll appreciate the trust you place in them and you’ll be able to get a few tasks off your ever-growing to-do list. Win-win!
If you want your employees to stay motivated, don’t let them reach the point of burnout. Veterinary medicine is an emotionally charged industry. It’s easy to end up feeling completely drained at the end of the day. To avoid this, make sure your team enjoys a healthy work-life balance. Be generous with your time off policy. Encourage your staff members to spend time with their families or pursuing their personal passions. When they can regularly rest and recharge, they’ll be much more productive when they’re back at the office.
Is your team as happy and engaged as they could be? The five strategies above should help you keep your employees motivated and excited about their jobs, which will in turn result in better client service, higher retention and a better bottom line.