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How to Make Your VET Practice a Great Place to Work

Updated: Feb 11

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.

Prioritize Communication

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.

Grow Strategically

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.

Our Advice on How to Make Your Vet Practice a Great Place to Work in 2024

What characteristics define a great leader in a veterinary practice?

An effective leader in a veterinary practice exhibits strong empathy towards animals and staff, maintains clear and consistent communication, demonstrates integrity, and fosters a supportive environment that encourages learning and growth. They should be adaptable, skilled in conflict resolution, and committed to the continuous improvement of the practice. They lead by example, are approachable, and prioritize the well-being of their team, understanding that a happy staff leads to better patient care.

How can lead by example influence staff and practice culture?

Leading by example in a veterinary practice can profoundly shape the culture. It builds credibility, as staff see their leader's commitment to care and ethics firsthand. This inspires similar behavior, establishes trust, and sets a positive tone, leading to a cohesive, motivated team dedicated to animal care and client service excellence.

Why is a solid onboarding process necessary for new team members?

A solid onboarding process is vital as it integrates new staff into the practice culture, clarifies roles and expectations, and provides the necessary tools and knowledge for them to contribute effectively and confidently to the team from the start.

In what ways can veterinary practices offer flexibility to their employees?

Veterinary practices can offer flexibility through varied shift patterns, part-time roles, job sharing, remote administrative duties, and by allowing time off for personal commitments. Such measures help staff manage work-life balance, enhancing job satisfaction and retention.

What tools or platforms can be used to recognize and reward employees effectively?

Practical tools for employee recognition in veterinary practices include performance-tracking software, peer-to-peer recognition platforms, digital reward systems, and professional development platforms that offer badges or certifications for skill advancement.

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

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