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Improve the engagement of your veterinary team & improve profits!

Posted in Management @ Dec 12th 2019 - By Dr Sasha Nefedova, General Manager PETstock VET
Improve The Engagement Of Your Veterinary Team Improve Profits 1

We all know it's hard to find vets in today’s industry.... 

but to give it a number, approximately 30% of veterinarians working in Australia are currently thinking of leaving the profession.

Not leaving their current job or their current boss – leaving behind their clinical career completely. 

I was one of those vets and elected to follow a management path given my interest in business and accounting. Now that I’m working with many vets and practice managers in our team, I see first hand the huge amount of stress recruitment can put on a vet clinic. 

So what can we do? 

Two things:

  1. Either find vets quicker OR
  2. Keep your existing team engaged and happy and stop them resigning in the first place. 

You probably don’t need a business degree to work out which path is more effective. 

At PETstock VET we chose to approach our culture and engagement in a scientific way and engaged the services of Culture Amp. This company provides us with tools to survey our staff and come up with an overall engagement score which we can benchmark against other companies or against our previous results over time. 

Culture Amp provides lots of data and literature to back up assumptions with the motivator always being:

Engagement has been consistently linked to profit, customer satisfaction and employee retention rates. By lifting it, we can impact performance, innovation, retention and attraction of talent.

But you don’t need fancy software to improve engagement in your clinic. 

Some basic tools that we use that can easily be replicated in a small private practice include:

  1. Having Clinic Values that reflect what you’re all about and provide specific examples that everyone in your team can relate to. It may be “We put our clients and patients first by taking the time to listen – even when busy and double booked!”

  2. Having the leaders in the practice live these values and demonstrate them in daily practice

  3. Having genuine conversations with your staff where you take the time to plan what you’re going to say and be truly open to hearing feedback yourself.

  4. Aligning yourself with a ‘greater cause’ that can get your team members enthusiastic about working at your clinic.  For example, organising volunteer days treating pets of the homeless with your team, organising salary sacrifice options to a charity of your choice or doing some local events in your community together like visiting a local school.

Taking the time and making this a priority could help you get into that wonderful groove, where your vets and nurses are working well independently and together because they feel they’re part of a team that professionally supports and nurtures each other.

If you have any questions for Sasha about PETstock VET's employee engagement initiatives just ask them in the Comments section below.

About Sasha

Dr Sasha Nefedova joined the PETstock VET team in August 2016 as General Manager following several years at the University of Melbourne developing their veterinary CPD programs. She has worked in general practice and ECC in Australia and the UK. Her clinical interests include animal behaviour, endocrinology and wound management. She also has a 2 year old daughter Mila and is hopeful Mila will grow up to eventually enter an equitable and welcoming workplace (so far all signs point to ballerina but things may change!). 

Sasha and the PETstock VET team are always on the lookout for ways we can create a nurturing environment in a “corporate that cares”.


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