Strategies to Improve Staff Retention at Your Veterinary Practice

Is high turnover a problem in your veterinary practice? When employees resign after just a year or two, your entire practice is affected. These strategies may help improve your retention percentages.

 

Evaluate Your Hiring Practices

Hiring staffMost people consider salary a particularly important consideration when they search for new positions. If you’re underpaying your staff, the best candidates will choose the jobs that offer better pay and benefits. When you settle for an employee who is just barely qualified, neither of you may be happy.

Before you place an ad for a new vet tech or receptionist, do a little research and find out how much employees in other practices are being paid. If your practice isn’t competitive, consider increasing salaries. The cost to recruit, interview and train employees may actually be more costly than simply offering a higher starting salary.
 

Offer a Formal Training Program

TrainingNew employees can quickly become overwhelmed if they don’t receive adequate training. Instituting a formal training program that not only includes office policies and procedures, but also focuses on safe animal handling and restraint techniques, computer training and customer service skills can give your new employees the tools they need to do their jobs confidently. Start with the easiest tasks first and gradually introduce more complicated tasks after the employee can confidently handle basic duties.

 

Develop a Team Atmosphere

Pair veteran employees with new employees to reduce turnover. Ask mentors to frequently check with new hires during their first few months on the job and offer advice and assistance as needed. Emphasize the importance of teamwork, and empower your employees to solve problems, offer feedback and make suggestions.

Ask mentors to frequently check with new hires during their first few months on the job and offer advice and assistance as needed.

Reduce Burnout

Good jobDealing with uncooperative animals, life-threatening situations and unhappy clients can lead to frustration, whether you’re a veterinarian or receptionist. Alternate duties to ensure that employees don’t burn out. For example, split cage cleaning duties among several employees or switch up vet tech assignments assignments occasionally.

Employees are more likely to stick around if they feel appreciated. In fact, 82 percent of employees surveyed by BambooHR listed lack of recognition as a top workplace annoyance. Thanking employees when they do a good job, either verbally or with a note, may help them feel valued. Saying “thank you” may seem like a basic concept, but too often, people just assume that others know that their work is appreciated. In addition to written or verbal displays of gratitude, offering gift cards, bonuses or other gifts may be welcomed by your staff.

 

Offer Advancement Opportunities

Have you established several career paths for employees? Lack of advancement is a key reason that people leave jobs. Offering opportunities for advancement can set you apart from other veterinary practices, help you retain your most valued employees and recruit quality new hires. When employees view a position at your practice as a career, not just a job, they may be more invested in their jobs and less likely to leave.

Offering opportunities for advancement can set you apart from other veterinary practices, help you retain your most valued employees and recruit quality new hires.

The success of your practice relies heavily on the quality of your employees. Choosing employees carefully and creating a positive work environment can help you reduce turnover.

 

Sources:
BambooHR: Where’s the Breaking Point for Employees, 7/16/14
https://www.bamboohr.com/blog/employee-breaking-point
Dvm360: Stop the Revolving Door at Your Veterinary Practice, 9/13/13
http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/stop-revolving-door-your-veterinary-practice 
Veterinary Management Consultation: Fifteen Ways to Enhance Employee Retention
http://vmc-inc.com/post/fifteen-ways-to-enhance-employee-retention

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