532614817937375 1584703808554678 754365735952013 488966079308663
 

Veterinary Employee Engagement Programs, why they are ESSENTIAL to your practice.

Employee engagement is the energy and commitment that an employee has about their job. How employees feel about their job will influence their dedication to the organization. Now more than ever, employees want to feel that their work means something. Employees want to work for an organization that they trust and believe in the overall goals. Engaged employees are more likely to feel their work is invaluable and making a difference. As a result, employee retention will rise, and you will attract new employees. Employee engagement programs build culture and team bonding throughout the practice. Improving good culture to great or changing negative culture to a positive one can be daunting. Culture improvement does not happen overnight; it takes a commitment from the leadership of the veterinary practice to be successful. Introducing employee engagement programs into your veterinary clinic will add value from the inside out. When the employees are engaged, their work will improve, their commitment to the practice will grow, and they will develop a love for their career choice. So why is employee engagement critical to the veterinary practice? First, it is essential because the veterinary practice model needs to grow employees into a veterinary career. So often, when people first start in veterinary practices as support staff, they are looking for a job. I believe it is our job as leaders in the veterinary community to grow their love for the veterinary practice and turn their "job" into a career. How do we grow and transition employees from working a job into developing a career? We need to do several things, but for the focus of this blog, we will discuss employee engagement programs. Aspects of employee engagement programs necessary to the veterinary practice are focusing on mental health and acknowledging/rewarding work. We know that suicide rates are up among veterinary professionals and that many veterinary professionals suffer from compassion fatigue. As a leader in your veterinary practice, one of your focuses should be on the mental health of each of your employees and the overall mental health of the practice. Introducing positive, employee and team-building programs can help develop a positive culture within the practice and can improve the mental health of veterinary professionals. Imagine having a "ruff" day at the practice, your favorite patient is sick and not doing well, a new client got a puppy with parvovirus and didn't have the money to treat, and you received a greeting from a feisty feline. All of those things happen in every veterinary practice, every day. As a result, employees go home feeling exhausted, stressed, and helpless. While employee engagement programs can't eliminate all of the stresses of a veterinary practice, they can offer a positive atmosphere that can help ease the burden of the pressure when done correctly. Acknowledging and rewarding work is a concept that can be overlooked in veterinary practices. Honestly, there is so much daily at a veterinary practice that it would be impossible to acknowledge and reward every incredible task that employees complete. However, employees need acknowledgment to understand that their work is appreciated. Acknowledgment of hard work aids in adding value to the employee, therefore improving the employee's view of the practice. When the employees realize that they are being acknowledged for their tasks, their desire to continue behaviors grows. When I was leading a team, I saw two significant issues. One, the morale was down because employees felt their hard work was going unrecognized, and two, the employees had low confidence in themselves. I saw this as a significant issue. When employees don't feel valued and appreciated, they will not stay in the environment for long. I created the concept to encourage the team to complement each other for going above and beyond in the practice. It could be as simple as helping a client to the car with their pets and food or as serious as advocating for a patient to the doctor and client. No deed is too small or too big to be acknowledged. Since I am only one person, I couldn't see every excellent task my employees achieved. I relied on the team to help me recognize all of these incredible tasks. Team members would advocate for each other by writing a note about the fantastic task and placing them in a jar in my office. At the monthly employee meeting, we would hand out the notes to the employees. We would go around the room and read the notes aloud and give that employee the time to be recognized and acknowledged for their efforts. This was effective; the employees started looking forward to the meetings and the time that was set aside to acknowledge their efforts over the last month. Issue one of feeling unappreciated was actively being addressed. Now on to the second issue of the employees having low morale. I have found over the years that for reasons that I am still figuring out, veterinary employees seem to have low self-esteem and confidence. This issue has plagued me over the years, and I take it to heart. I want each employee to understand and value their worth, not only as an employee but as a human. Enter the second phase of my concept. I introduced the team to read the compliments aloud in a self-affirming manner. For example, the compliment reads, "Ashley helped Ms. Smith to the car with Fluffy and her food." I would read that aloud as "I am awesome because I helped Ms. Smith to the car with Fluffy and her food." Replacing the name with "I" and adding a fun adjective before stating the task allowed for ownership of compliment. The first month, the employee looked at me like I was crazy; they were having so much fun with the concept by the second month. They were using fun adjectives to describe themselves, such as awesome, amazing, spectacular, incredible, etc. I watched as their self-esteem and confidence grew. The employees had a renewed passion for their work. Instead of showing up and getting the job done, they actively went above and beyond, knowing that their efforts would be acknowledged. It was simplistic but effective. Visit Woofs & Pets for more information Employee engagement programs are essential to the veterinary practice. Whether you are looking for a new program or would like to revamp or add to an existing program, VetCrate is an excellent source. Check out the employee engagement programs offered today. Veterinary Practice Solutions | Vetcrate

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