Updated: Oct 27
These days, finding top talent isn’t nearly as challenging as retaining them. So, how can you ensure that once you snag a few of those ‘A-players,’ they won’t jump ship as soon as the next opportunity comes along? One important factor is the culture within your practice. If your current culture could use a bit of a facelift, or you’ve not yet found your practice identity and could use a little guidance, here are five key elements of a culture employees will thrive in.
The values you develop for your practice should serve as a compass, guiding every decision made and every action taken by you and your employees. They should define who you are and what differentiates you from other clinics in the area. Essentially, they should give you a true identity. To be effective, however, your core values must be clearly defined, regularly communicated and consistently executed. Here at DVMelite, our internal team reiterates our core values at every meeting, tying them into every facet of our business.
Another key component of a strong, positive company culture is open, honest communication. You want your employees to feel as though their thoughts, opinions and feedback are welcome. When people feel heard, they become much more engaged and plugged in. Of course, it’s also important to remember that communication works both ways. Be sure to keep your team in the loop – especially when it comes to decisions that impact their day to day lives. Knowing what’s going on and why will help them feel a sense of control and contribution to the overall big picture.
Everyone wants to feel appreciated. It’s human nature. That said, you should routinely ask yourself if you are doing enough to recognize and reward your employees for a job well done. Regular celebrations, both public and private, are an important component of a solid company culture. Even if it’s just a shout out during your daily huddle, being acknowledged for their effort can go a long way toward establishing and strengthening that bond with your employees. And we’re not only referring to professional successes, either. Personal milestones should also be celebrated.
If an employee feels as though management views them as just another cog in the wheel, they’re much more likely to leave without giving it a second thought. To avoid this, you want to make a concerted effort to take an interest in your staff and demonstrate that not only do they add tremendous value to the team, but that you recognize and appreciate that contribution. Show your employees that you genuinely care about them. One great way to put this into action is to prioritize work-life balance.
Last, but not least, a good culture is one which employees feel invested in. Continuing education may be required per industry standards, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Provide your team with as many learning opportunities as possible. Allow and encourage them to pursue their interests, even if they aren’t necessarily job-related. Show them that you are committed to their growth, both professionally as well as personally. In return, they will continue to add even greater value to the team and your practice as a whole. In other words, it’s a win-win!
If you want to be the best clinic in town, you have to hire and retain the best employees. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create a culture in which your team members flourish. The more you invest in your practice culture, the easier it will be to build a dream team who will want to help your practice succeed.
Our tips, tricks, and expert advice
What are the critical elements of a positive practice culture in a veterinary clinic?
The critical elements of a positive practice culture include defined core values, open communication, regular celebrations, genuine care for employees, and commitment to their growth.
How do core values contribute to a strong practice culture?
Core values guide decisions and actions, defining the practice's identity. Clear, regularly communicated, and consistently executed to strengthen practice culture.
How can a strong practice culture contribute to the success of a veterinary practice?
A strong practice culture promotes employee retention, engagement, and productivity. It also enhances the client experience, fostering loyalty and contributing to business success.
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