Working in the Veterinary industry can sometimes feel like a love-hate relationship. Whilst some days are vibrant and filled with interesting cases and patient successes, sometimes long days in the summer and slow days in winter can make for ups and downs that can leave Vets, Vet Nurses and support team members to occasionally feel a little low. As a Practice Manager, Clinical Lead or Owner of a Veterinary Clinic or Hospital one of your key jobs as a leader is to keep their spirits up to prevent high turnover rates as well as maintain or improve patient care.
Creating a program that nurtures, inspires, and challenges your team is a great way to keep them motivated through the random bad days and sometimes challenging weeks that are sure to come, even at the very best practices. Here are some of the best tips we have gathered from our advertisers to keep your Vet crew fired up and ready to be the best animal care givers they can be.
- Free Food – Everyone loves free food. It’s not uncommon for busy days to result in skipped lunches and breaks that can turn your fun-loving crew into a hangry (hungry+angry) pack of difficult team members. Stock the break room with healthy treats like fresh fruit, protein bars, and popcorn. These snacks will help fill them up but not with a temporary sugar or carb high and set the scene for focus for the rest of the work period. You don’t have to break the bank to offer treats. Plan a monthly budget and slowly top up the break room to prevent everything from disappearing days after you purchase them.
- Spring A Surprise Lunch – For no reason at all buy the team lunch. It doesn’t have to be a busy day or a slow day, just pick a random day and have salads or pizza delivered. This small act of kindness shows your team how much you appreciate their help, especially when there is no immediate and obvious reason. Little symbols like this can go a long way towards keeping your Vet team on point.
- Proactively Provide Continuing Education – Most Vet team members love medicine and learning. They know that being great requires improving skills and staying on top of new treatment protocols. Empower them to learn more and implement what they are learning. You can do this on a budget by assigning clinicians topics and presentations. If you have funds, give them an opportunity to attend a conference or CE event. Keeping their minds agile and challenged can cut down on turnover rates so you don’t have to find new crew to fill your veterinary jobs.
- Pass On Responsibility – Let your team get involved with some of the administrative responsibilities. These tasks will help you as well as give them a sense of purpose. Everyone can help with inventory, scheduling, compliance tracking, and a number of other tasks that will help them feel ownership.
- Start A Recognition And Reward program – Encourage nurses, vets, receptionist, and the whole team to give their fellow team mates kudos. These kudos can then be collected and turned in for rewards. You can offer things like a half day off, or even a full day, free lunch, new scrubs, stethoscopes, or even non-work related items like tickets to an event or gift cards. Not only will you increase team dynamics but you will inspire your team to work harder to earn those rewards.
Keeping your Veterinary team motivated through the highs and lows of day-to-day work can be challenging. But with a little inspiration and these tips, we know you’ll be able to ensure that your team are happier, and as a result, morale and patient care will flourish.
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