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Steve the Birdbox... Encouraging positivity & fun in your veterinary team

Posted in Our Community @ Nov 6th 2019 - By Tania, Thornleigh Veterinary Hospital
Steve The Birdbox Encouraging Positivity Fun In Your Veterinary Team 2

Keen to turn your veterinary staff meetings into a more positive and fun event that your team looks forward to?

I recently saw a photo on the Vetanswers Instagram Feed with a veterinary team, sitting around a table smiling at the camera whilst eating cake. And the description was:

"We have a little bird box in our staff room where staff can leave positive notes for other staff. Even our locum nurse got involved so here's us sending her a selfie after reading her lovely note to the team (and eating cake)."

And I thought - what an awesome idea! So I sent a DM to Thornleigh Vet Hospital via Instagram and asked if they would be interested in sharing their idea and answering a few questions about how the whole process works. Tania kindly agreed to answer my questions and sent some photos of Steve the Birdbox.

Who’s idea was the birdbox and how did they come up with the idea?

Our head vet/hospital manager Prue came up with the idea. She used to do it at her old clinic and decided it would be good to implement here.

How did you come up with the idea of using a birdbox rather than than the usual (boring) wooden or shoebox?

We can’t remember who came up with the idea for the birdbox but it started with Prue mentioning the idea of love notes at the beginning of our brainstorming session. We all loved the idea of the birdbox and that we could put in “tweets” (pun intended!).

Our nurse Nikki made Steve the birdbox come to life.


Steve the Birdbox from all angles!

How long have you been using it for?

We've been doing it for a few months now.

Do you read the notes out aloud at the staff meeting or are they handed to each person to read to themselves?

The notes are handed to each person and they can decide if they would like to read it out loud or not. Most of the time we don’t read it out, but it's open to preference.

Do people put their name on the notes or are they anonymous?

Either option. Some people prefer to stay anonymous and others like to write their names. Or you have someone like me who usually forgets to write their name!  

Does it sometimes happen that someone doesn’t get a note?

I think it's happened maybe once or twice but it’s a very rare occurrence.

The managers usually try to make sure that everyone gets a note even if its something small like “your hair looks nice today”.

Do you have to keep reminding the team to add their notes to the bird box or are there always plenty to hand out every 2 weeks?

A bit of both. Sometimes we forget so we just write some notes at the beginning of the staff meeting and put it in the box.

We’re pretty good most of the time though. It helps that there is a small notepad and pen next to the box.

How did you come up with the name Steve for your birdbox?

We had a meeting about the box and as a team decided on the name. We named our birdbox Steve because the team thought it was funny and we all agreed on the name. You can name it anything, we just called ours Steve! It doesn’t need to have a person’s name – could just be “Little love box” or something simple.

Steve and his message to the team

If you have any questions for the team at Thornleigh Vet Hospital about Steve the Birdbox or how the whole process works, just ask in the Comments section below.

One last thing...

Congratulations to the whole team at Thornleigh Veterinary Hospital for winning the Best Pet Care Award at the 2019 Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Local Business Awards.


The Thornleigh Vet Hospital Team


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