Are you curious about what your employees need to stay at your practice? – Ask!
At a time where labor competition between veterinary hospitals is fierce, a typical response is to panic and ACT! Veterinary hospitals are offering increased wages, more benefits and other perks to employees encouraging them to stay. Unfortunately, one of the most important tasks a hospital can do is often being ignored which is to simply ask. You may be paying higher wages but not addressing the real problem that is draining your practice of talented employees.
Employee surveys can be utilized as a regular communication tool between the practice leadership and employees of the practice. Typically, surveys are conducted once per year, but I would encourage you to conduct the surveys multiple times per year, asking different questions along the way. Have a review process for the surveys and an open-door policy along the way so that employees feel comfortable voicing and discussing their concerns.
The surveys can ask questions such as:
What can we do better at the hospital to serve our clients?
Do you feel satisfied with your current level of pay and benefits? If not, why not?
Do you feel like you are part of a team?
Are there any tasks you love doing and what do you hate doing in your role?
Having a trusted relationship between management and staff is key. Employees will participate if they feel like management cares about their well-being and their responses are not only heard but valued.
An exit interview is also an excellent way to gain feedback from employees. Approach the interview as an opportunity to do better, even if you don’t agree with why the employee is leaving. Listen and be open to criticism as you may hear information that you wouldn’t have heard if the employee was still fearful of losing their job by discussing their concerns.
There is no substitute for good communication. Looking for different avenues to keep the lines of communication open will be appreciated by your employees and valuable for your practice.