Updated: May 5
It’s a known fact that the more you invest in your team, the better their performance will be. And, of course, the better your team’s performance, the more successful your practice will be. One role in particular that can pay dividends in the form of client retention and a stronger bottom line is that of veterinary technician. That said, are you certain you’re doing enough to empower and elevate your technicians to perform at their best? Here are a few key tips you may want to keep in mind.
Let them earn what they’re worth
Your technicians have gone through rigorous education and training to earn their credentials. If you’re paying them to do work that’s beneath their skillset, like laundry and cleaning, not only are you wasting money, but you’re also failing to challenge and empower them. Keep your tech team happy and engaged while also maximizing your investment by making sure they’re operating to their fullest ability. If you need to hire additional staff to do non-technical work, so be it. The rate will be lower anyway.
Play to their strengths
Veterinary technicians may require certain universal skillsets, but that doesn’t mean all of your techs are cut from the same cloth. Some may be better at multi-tasking than others, while others are more productive when focused on one task at a time. An introvert may be more suited toward lab work while your extroverted techs might prefer educating clients. Get to know your team’s individual strengths and preferences and then provide each the chance to maximize those strengths.
Provide learning opportunities
One of the biggest motivators for veterinary technicians is mastery. Most technicians take great pride in their abilities and revel at the chance to expand their knowledge and grow their skills. When there’s little opportunity to learn new things within the practice, however, it can become increasingly difficult to stay motivated and engaged. As such, not only should your team have access to external educational resources, but they should also have plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning of new techniques.
Prioritize your CE budget
As mentioned, mastering new skills is a big driver of performance and retention. If you don’t already have a decent CE budget set aside for your staff, make sure it’s on your list of priorities. Investing in individual team members can help the entire team as a whole. For instance, you may pay for one technician’s CE, who will then return to the clinic and teach others what they have learned. You can even formalize this process by tapping one team member to present something new that they’ve learned at each monthly meeting.
Focus on team building
Trust is fundamental to exceptional client care. Without trust, veterinary technicians simply cannot maximize their potential. A great way to develop and nurture trust amongst your staff is to invest in regular team building activities. There are any number of ways to strengthen your team dynamic, and what may work for one practice may not be ideal for another. What’s important isn’t how you build and support your team, but that you focus on doing so as a top business strategy.
The veterinary field has changed tremendously over the past several years, and continues to evolve to this day. Veterinary technicians are at the heart of this transformation. By supporting them in their careers, everyone benefits – the techs, the practice and, most importantly, the clients and patients.