When it comes to running a successful veterinarian practice, you have a lot of considerations. Providing high quality pet care is a no brainer. Right along with it are things like maintaining a safe environment, and having a friendly, patient-focused mission. But what role does culture play in your success?
Establishing an environment where your employees can thrive has a trickle effect reaching everyone who steps through your doors. At People, Pets and Vets (PPV), we care deeply about the human-pet bond and know the positive impact a great culture can have on your practice. To bring you some truly powerful insights, we sat down with PPV Regional Director, Dr. Jennifer Koenig. Take a look at five of her guiding principles for creating a fantastic veterinary clinic culture:
Be aware of your clinic culture and intentional about creating a great place to work. You can start by identifying the core values of your clinic and sharing them with your staff. Setting the tone and expectations for your practice provides clarity for your work together. Instill core values by integrating them into your conversations, staff meetings and reviews. You can also display them in common areas of your practice.
Prioritize friendly interactions. This speaks to all exchanges that take place at your practice – person to person, to client and to pet. In general, people are dynamic and often bring unspoken detractors to situations. Friendliness is an easy way to show you care, build a rapport and help ensure positive interactions. Set the stage each morning with a warm greeting and quick check-in on how everyone is doing.
Create time for structured and unstructured conversations. Annual reviews dedicate time to talk about individual performance. However, it’s also important to be in tune with emotions and have off-the-cuff conversations as needed. Talking with your staff helps maintain relationships, build trust and in some cases, diffuse potential issues. Try integrating anonymous engagement surveys into monthly staff meetings. These enable your employees to give clear and honest feedback, while helping you gauge morale.
Recognize your staff for their unique value and contributions. It’s human nature to perform better and excel when you feel appreciated. A “kudos box” is a smart way for employees to recognize and learn from each other. Share the recognition notes during staff meetings and give employees a moment to shine. It’s a great morale-boosting exercise, especially when paired with an employee of the month program.
Build your staff with talented individuals who fit the culture you want for your practice. Each role brings an important value to your clinic and you want the right personality for each position. No doubt your clients have a unique loyalty to your veterinarians; however, your front desk personnel offer multiple client touch points. Take time to hire right to ensure each person reflects the mood and tone of your practice.
Creating a positive clinic culture is as important to your veterinary practice as the quality of pet care you deliver. With 25+ clinics, 500+ employees and 26+ years of stability and growth, PPV sets the standard for building successful clinics and creating a great place to work.
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