The onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic has had various effects on the world. One of these effects is an upsurge in pet ownership in 2020 and 2021.
The result has increased demand for appointments, surgeries, emergencies, and urgent care. Plus, it will increase the amount of time required to service customers.
Even though there are many graduates, veterinary firms are short of and desperately need veterinary professionals. In the veterinary profession, there has also been an increase in veterinarians leaving the field outright, with many stating that they intend to do so soon.
Due to understaffing, many practices struggle to provide enough downtime for veterinarians. This issue is especially troublesome because it is a self-perpetuating issue. As members of staff leave, the remaining teammates need to work longer and harder, resulting in lower practice morale and burnout.
As a result, practices must examine their systems and consider how they allocate work across their organizations.
This article will explore the timely and relevant topic of Staff Retention in the Veterinary Practice, particularly practical steps by which veterinary businesses can retain their staff.
Examine and Reinforce Your Current Team
Check-in with your present team by using the Employee Satisfaction Index. Similar to the cost of product inventory, this is the process of checking in with your employees or colleagues. This exercise aims to determine how they feel, their strengths, and what they need to solve any problems effectively.
Moreover, it also pays to concentrate on your staff’s strengths. Of all the topics you discuss with your team, spend most of your time discussing their strengths. Focusing on your team’s capabilities enables you to empower them more quickly, which allows you to meet new client demands better.
Examine Your Hiring Procedures
When looking for new jobs, most people believe income to be extremely significant. If you underpay your employees, the best prospects will seek out jobs with higher pay and perks. Moreover, settling for a barely competent employee will only make you both unhappy.
Thus, before posting an ad for a new vet tech or receptionist, research what other practices pay their staff. Consider raising compensation if your practice is not competitive. Moreover, consider whether recruiting, interviewing, and training staff may be more expensive than paying a higher beginning salary.
Find the Right Individual to Hire
The process of retaining employees begins at the outset. It is critical to employ the right person for your practice to establish and keep a successful team. Although tempting, do not just hire the first person who walks through the door to score an instant win.
Keep in mind that an employee-employer relationship is a two-way street, and veterinarians have a lot of negotiating leverage in the current market. The goal is to find the appropriate applicant who will stay for the long haul. Once you have found the right individual for the job, put together an appealing compensation package that will entice your preferred candidate to choose your practice.
Create a Positive Working Environment for Your Team
Pair seasoned personnel with new hires to reduce turnover. Throughout their first few months on the job, ask mentors to check in with new hires frequently and offer guidance and support. Empower your employees to solve problems, provide feedback, and make suggestions by emphasizing the significance of teamwork.
Actively work to resolve any difficulties or concerns raised in your team meetings. Problems among employees can lead to stress and burnout which can result in poor pet care and support. Ultimately, this can result in a drop in retention.
For anyone in this field, be it a veterinarian or a receptionist, dealing with obstinate animals, life-threatening circumstances, and disgruntled clients can be frustrating.
Therefore, to avoid staff burnout, respect your staff’s time even during these busy times. While an employee going on vacation might make it hard to keep up for the week that they are gone, losing them as an employee will leave a lasting impact. Giving your staff requested time off and ensuring they do not need to work late regularly will give them the opportunity to recharge and avoid burnout.
Furthermore, if employees feel valued, they are more inclined to stay. Whether personally or in writing, thanking employees for their hard work can help them feel valued.
Organize Training for the Entire Team
All team members should be properly trained for their roles to enhance efficiency.
When some team members become overworked due to others’ poor training, workplace conflict will likely grow, resulting in low morale. Invite seasoned employees to assist in training newer team members, allowing them to take ownership of their jobs and develop their abilities by teaching others.
Keep in mind that giving timely feedback is an important part of training. You cannot resolve employee performance issues if the employee is unaware of the problem. Management teams should address issues immediately rather than allowing problems to fester.
Effective managers should also encourage employees to resolve minor issues rather than rely on a supervisor to intervene.
Finally, everyone on the team should be taught how to educate and communicate with clients and encouraged to do so.
Provide Opportunities for Advancement
People you wish to hire for your practice should be motivated to advance in their careers. They should have the opportunity to grow with your practice rather than having to leave to pursue their professional goals elsewhere.
People leave professions for various reasons, one of which is a lack of advancement. Offering promotion possibilities can help you stand out from competing veterinarian offices, allowing you to keep your best staff and acquire exceptional new personnel. Employees may be more committed to their positions and less inclined to leave if they see their position at your clinic as a career rather than just a job.
Veterinary clinics must care for their staff before caring for their patients and clients. Your veterinary practice will promote a pleasant workplace environment and improve the retention of valued personnel by aiming to develop a workplace culture that expresses appreciation, effectively employs team members, and encourages wellness and work-life balance.
Find out how Veterinary IT Services can help you better retain staff by scheduling an appointment today!