Updated: Apr 7
Finding the right veterinary technicians can be a painstaking process. So, when someone you’ve invested time, money and effort into (and whom thought would be with you for the long haul) puts in their notice, it can be incredibly frustrating.
Fortunately, avoiding this scenario may be easier than you think. The key lies in understanding the common reasons why a good vet tech might leave so you can determine what measures you’ll need to put in place to prevent it from happening to you. Let’s take a look at the top five reasons below.
The most basic reason a good vet tech might decide to go elsewhere is that they’re not being compensated fairly. And while money certainly isn’t everything, it does play an important factor in retention. Make sure you are on top of the going rate for your geographical area, and if you can afford to pay a little more to sweeten the pot, do it.
Lack of Fulfillment
A recent survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) revealed that under-use can significantly contribute to staff turnover in the veterinary industry. Skilled technicians who have extensive education and experience can become increasingly frustrated if they are not allowed to apply those skills that they’ve worked so hard to achieve and master. As a result, they might seek opportunities elsewhere.
Without a doubt, working in the veterinary industry can be stressful and emotionally draining. Not only are your vet techs expected to perform their heavy workload effectively, but they also have to deal with unique job-related issues, like compassion fatigue. Be sure you are taking appropriate measures to help your team avoid burnout, otherwise you will likely end up with a revolving door of staff members.
No Growth Opportunities
It can be easy to mistake continuing education requirements as your vet techs’ primary opportunity to improve their skills. Chances are, they desire far more than this to truly feel valued and fulfilled at work. Provide a clear path to career advancement whenever possible. If your practice is too small for this, at the very least, you should be investing in personal and professional growth opportunities.
Last, but most certainly not least, if you’re wondering why your best vet techs might have one foot out the door, it’s time to take a good, hard look at yourself and the rest of the management team. Employees list leadership issues as one of their biggest gripes, and the veterinary industry is certainly no exception to this. Make sure those at the top are cultivating respect and trust, and that everyone on the team – especially your vet techs – feel heard and appreciated.
Losing good employees can be challenging – even more so if those employees happen to be your best veterinary technicians. By recognizing and understanding the many factors that can influence a person’s decision to leave, you can take proactive measures to prevent it from happening in the first place. Not only will this improve retention, but it’ll make your practice a much better place overall.