Boosting Morale in Your Veterinary Practice: 8 Actionable Tips
Studies continue to show workplaces with high morale outperform those without it. By focusing on workplace morale, employees become more productive, collaborate more effectively, and make fewer errors. In a veterinary office, these results directly improve patient outcomes while reducing the office’s exposure to potential liabilities. On top of all of this, it can also help you retain and recruit the talent you need in the face of significant veterinarian shortages.
This article gives you 8 actionable tips you can use to improve the morale of your veterinary office.
8 Ways to Boost Morale at Your Veterinary Office
With the right tactics, efforts made toward boosting employee morale can go a long way in improving employee happiness and results. So, here are eight actionable ways you can start boosting morale at your veterinary practice today.
1. Make it a Habit to Provide Positive Feedback
Positive feedback allows you to show employees what you consider good performance. By providing positive feedback, you reinforce the behavior you expect without any negativity that can bring down morale. It draws attention to behaviors you want encouraging other employees to also follow suit.
You can provide positive feedback in a wide variety of ways from a simple email to a hand-written note or verbal complement. Another great option is to share any positive comments you receive from clients with the staff members that interacted with those clients. Sharing positive feedback with the entire office can also help build a stronger team mentality.
2. Organise Optional After-Work Activities
Although not every employee will attend, hosting optional after-work activities and events offers an opportunity for team members to develop stronger relationships. After-work activities can also help team members destress after hard days alongside people that understand their stress. This is particularly important in the veterinary field with nearly half of veterinarians experiencing abnormal stress levels.
Organised after-work activities do not need to be expensive or complicated. Meeting at a local coffee shop for pastries or a pool hall for a game of billiards offers no-pressure opportunities for co-workers to destress after work. With after-work activities like these, employees can leave when they want, reducing pressure for those with busy lives.
3. Do Small Favors for Your Employees
Doing a small favour for an employee can make their entire day. It shows your commitment to helping their lives and an understanding that they are a key component of running a successful veterinary practice.
The favours can be as simple as bringing a paper they just printed to their desk. Or letting an employee go home a bit early before a holiday by taking on some of their work. Regardless of what it is, any of these types of favours stand out in your employees’ minds as a benefit to working at your veterinary practice.
4. Reward Employee Efforts
Creating some type of reward system in the office based on employee efforts can help promote positive work habits in an exciting way. Typically, employee efforts only see rewards during yearly reviews when raises are given. But, this gives a long period of time between an action and its reward.
On top of yearly reviews, a reward system allows you to regularly recognize employees that go above and beyond. Depending on the reward system you use for your practice, it can also create healthy competition in the office.
5. Offer Opportunities for Training
Offering training to employees helps the veterinary practice and the employee. Employees gain a better understanding of tasks under their responsibility and enhance their resume while the practice benefits from more effective and efficient employees.
On top of these benefits, it also shows a vested interest in helping staff grow their careers. Employees with opportunities to continue growing in their careers maintain more motivation in their current job and lower burnout.
6. Encourage Employees to Support Each Other
A supportive work environment must come from the top down. Lead by example to show how employees can support each other by always offering your support to the staff at your veterinary practice.
You can show employees how to support each other with simple actions. Every time an employee asks a question, take the time to give them a full and comprehensive answer. Whenever you notice an employee struggling with a task, offer an extra hand to help. These simple acts form the building blocks of creating a supportive work environment.
7. Always Provide Clear Expectations
Giving employees clear expectations helps them avoid second-guessing their work. This leads to improved confidence levels throughout the practice which permeates into every workplace activity. 97% of employees report higher performance levels when they feel confident at work.
To set clear expectations, start holding regularly scheduled meetings to go over current performance, areas for improvement, and ways the practice excelled. Meetings like these ensure every employee understands the current needs of the practice beyond daily activities. It can also help unite the office as a way to work towards a common goal.
8. Leverage Technology
Veterinarians as a whole are extremely overworked. From long hours and emergency calls to stressful appointments and difficult clients, being a veterinarian is extremely hard work. The overworking of veterinarians continues to become a serious issue with 60% of vets that left a job in 2021 reporting the cause as a poor work-life balance.
You can help reduce the overworking of veterinarians at your practice by leveraging new technologies. Integrating technology into your existing workflows with the help of an IT service provider can reduce repetitive work like transcribing notes or communicating with clients. This frees up overworked employees to finally get time to pursue their after-work interests.
The veterinary field went through significant changes over the last few years. Between workplace structures shifting and a massive increase in pet adoption rates, veterinarians struggled to maintain morale. But, practices that make the quality of their workplace a priority can maintain high levels of productivity, reduce burnout, and retain highly qualified staff. With these 8 ways to boost morale at your veterinary office, you can start reaping the benefits of engaged employees that regularly go above and beyond.