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6 Proven Employee Retention Strategies

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

How much money is employee turnover costing your veterinary practice? Beyond the financial impact that comes with recruiting, hiring and training new team members, turnover can cause other less quantifiable problems, such as decreased productivity and a dip in employee morale. If you’re starting to feel like your practice has a revolving door when it comes to employees, here are a few strategies you can implement today that may help turn things around.

Provide Positive Feedback

Of course, there are always going to be instances in which correcting an employee is necessary, but if the only interaction you have with your team members involves pointing out when they’ve done something wrong, you can kiss your retention numbers goodbye. Balance constructive criticism by offering more positive feedback as well.

Encourage and Promote Growth

Most people want to feel as though there are opportunities for growth with their employers. If your employees feel that their careers are stagnant, they’re more likely to look elsewhere for those opportunities they’re seeking. Provide plans for career advancement whenever possible. If your practice happens to be too small to do this, offer options for professional development, such as ongoing training and coursework.

Challenge Them

Boredom can easily lead to the desire to move on, so make sure your employees are always engaged by challenging them in their day to day duties. Give them newer and bigger responsibilities and demonstrate the important role that they play in the overall success of the practice. Show them you trust and believe in them and they’ll reward you with hard work and loyalty.

Foster Respect

Employees who don’t feel respected at work – either by their peers or by management – are less likely to stay on for the long haul. To avoid losing top talent, make respect a key component of your practice culture. Create an atmosphere where communication, honesty and work-life balance are an integral part of what sets your brand apart. Always show your appreciation, even if it’s just to say ‘thank you’ for a job well done.

Invite (and Listen to) Feedback

Just as it’s important to let employees know how they’re doing, it’s equally critical to understand how they feel about their work environment. Encourage your team members to share their thoughts and ideas. Ask them to point out areas where they feel improvements could be made. And, most importantly, put that feedback to good use. Your employees will feel valued and your practice will continue to develop into an even better place to work as a result.

Be Authentic

Last but certainly not least, show your employees that you truly care about who they are as people, not just as employees who contribute to your practice’s bottom line. Get to know them and encourage them to get to know one another better as well. Take the time to listen and learn what matters most to them. Ask about their families and celebrate life events with them. This can help solidify your relationship and establish a much stronger bond that equates to long-term, loyal and engaging employment.

At DVMelite, we’ve worked with countless clients who have struggled with costly employee turnover. We’ve also witnessed firsthand how implementing the right strategies can truly make a difference. If you’ve been having a hard time keeping your team members happy and engaged, we encourage you to give one or more of the above suggestions a try. And if you still need guidance with retention, growth or any other area of practice management, we invite you to give us a call. We’re here to help!

Our Tips, Tricks, and Expert Advice

What financial and non-financial impacts does employee turnover have on a veterinary practice?

Employee turnover in a veterinary practice hits financially with recruiting and training new staff costs. Non-financially, it disrupts workflow, affects team morale, and can lower the quality of patient care. It ripple impacts the practice's bottom line and team dynamics.

How can encouraging and promoting employee growth influence retention?

Fostering employee development enhances retention by making staff feel appreciated and engaged. Commitment to their career progression increases job satisfaction and loyalty, encouraging employees to stay with the practice rather than exploring other job opportunities.

Why is being authentic and showing genuine care for employees crucial for retention?

Being authentic and genuinely caring for employees is crucial for retention because it creates a trusting, supportive work environment. Employees experiencing a sense of value and connection tend to have greater job satisfaction and exhibit stronger loyalty. This emotional investment often translates into a long-term commitment to the practice.

What are some ways to provide opportunities for career advancement or professional development?

To offer career advancement or professional development in a vet practice, consider funding continuing education, hosting in-house training, and encouraging specialty certification. Also, create clear paths for role progression, like from vet tech to senior tech, fostering skill growth and ambition.

How can practices use employee feedback to improve the work environment?

Practices can use employee feedback to improve the work environment by actively listening to their team's suggestions and concerns. Implementing changes based on this feedback demonstrates respect for their opinions, leading to a more positive, inclusive, and productive workplace culture.

For more practice management tips, tricks, and expert advice, bookmark the DVMelite blog and check back often for fresh content.

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