“Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team.
Everything is awesome when you’re living a dream.”
—Tegan and Sara, “Everything is AWESOME!!!”
I had to do it!
I had to get the catchy song from The Lego Movie in your head because I want to show you that everything can be awesome at your veterinary practice, too. Your staff can love coming to work every day. You can mitigate burnout and compassion fatigue, gossiping, and unhealthy work-life balance among your team. You can increase job satisfaction, productivity, and your bottom line.
Everything really can be awesome. But, you may have to make a few changes first. Here are some ideas to make your veterinary practice an awesome place to work:
#1: Make meetings meaningful.
Regular team meetings are a necessary component of a successful veterinary practice. They open the lines of communication at every level and help team members feel informed and empowered. But, don’t just go through the motions every week just to be able to say that you have regular meetings. Instead, create meetings that are worth the time everyone spends at them. Your meetings can be fun events that your staff looks forward to. Here are a few ways to spice up your team meetings:
- Role play — Sometimes, the various departments and roles within your hospital can become silos, not truly understanding the difficulties other departments and positions regularly face. During your staff meetings, have team members swap roles to get a feel for what it’s like to walk in each others’ shoes.
- Continuing education presentations — For each meeting, assign a team member to present new research to help the entire hospital stay on top of trends in the profession.
- Create a “Meetings Team” — Assign a coordinator, facilitator, secretary, and trainer to plan and execute your staff meetings. They’ll feel empowered and will want to create meetings that their peers benefit from and enjoy.
- Provide food — Food makes everything awesome, right?
#2: Provide opportunities for professional growth.
Make it easy for your team to grow professionally by supporting—financially or otherwise—their professional growth endeavors.
- You’ve had a wonderful practice manager who has been with your hospital for years. Offer to help her become a certified veterinary practice manager (CVPM).
- A hard-working veterinary assistant has expressed interest in furthering his career. Encourage him to apply for enrollment into a part-time veterinary technician program that gives him the opportunity to earn his bachelor’s degree and prepares him to sit for the National Veterinary Technician Exam (VTNE).
- A client service representative enjoys social media and wants to help market your practice. Give her the opportunity to learn more about marketing and social media through online CE, and then expand her role and offer her a new title to match her new job responsibilities.
#3: Encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Overtime can suck the life out of your team members and your bottom line. Do away with overtime, and instead take advantage of relief employees through a veterinary relief staffing agency. By encouraging your team to take well-deserved time off and to work only their regular scheduled hours, you’ll show that you truly care about their well-being and respect their home lives. Relief employees don’t only provide extra help when needed, they can also provide fresh perspectives and future full-time staffing opportunities.
These are just a few ways to make your veterinary practice an awesome place to work. How do you create a positive environment that your team is happy to come to every day?