Drive Employee Engagement: The Touchpoints Veterinary Leaders Need to Know

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By Randy Hall

April 19, 2024

Are you tired of the constant turnover and feeling like your practice is one crisis away from imploding? Employee engagement is the secret weapon to fixing all that.

Employee Engagement Changes Your Practice

Practices with highly engaged employees are happier places and have less stress. There is more teamwork and a greater sense of fulfillment. People high five more at the end of the day rather than shuffle out with their heads down.

Research shows engaged employees are 87% less likely to jump ship [link to study], so you can finally build a stable team. Imagine a veterinary practice humming with productivity, happy clients, and staff that actually supports each other. That's the power of employee engagement, and it all starts with these 3 critical "C's": culture, coaching, and connection. 


Culture: The Heartbeat of Your Practice

Create a culture of employee engagement

Think of culture as the unwritten rules of your workplace – the way things get done, how the team treats each other, the vibe clients pick up on. As a leader, you shape this culture, for better or worse. A strong, positive culture is like a magnet for great employees. Everyone wants to work where they feel valued, respected, and part of something meaningful – making a difference in the lives of pets and pet owners!

But here's the deal: a disjointed or unsupportive culture can send your best people packing faster than you can say "job posting"!

Building a Culture of Engagement

A truly engaged team doesn't just work for you, they work with you. Picture this:

  • Clients feeling instantly welcome because the team's genuinely glad to see them.
  • Problems handled swiftly before they blow up because staff feel empowered.
  • Employees recommending their practice to friends (who also happen to be talented techs!)

It takes time and effort, but when you get your culture dialed in, engagement becomes self-sustaining.

Key Questions for Leaders:

  • Can you clearly describe your ideal workplace culture? (If not, that's your starting point!)
  • Does your current reality match that ideal? Be honest! Gaps are where you focus your efforts.
  • Are you recognizing and rewarding the behaviors that support your desired culture?


Coaching: Maximize Your Team's Potential

Proactive coaching leads to employee engagement

The numbers are alarming: Gartner reports only 31% of employees are fully engaged. That means a staggering majority of your team might not be fully invested. But here's where it gets exciting: Your managers are more than just supervisors, they're coaches with the power to unlock your team's full potential. Think about it – wouldn't you rather have a team energized to contribute their best, instead of just clocking in and out?

Investing in your coaching skills is a game-changer. It's the key to building a high-performing team that:

  • Consistently delivers exceptional client care – because they're empowered to take initiative.
  • Adapts quickly to challenges – because they're confident in their problem-solving skills.
  • Works together seamlessly – because they know their manager has their back. 

Key Questions for Leaders

  • Are you providing ongoing coaching development for your managers? (Don't just assume they know how!)
  • Do your managers have the time and resources to coach effectively? Prioritizing this is essential.
  • Have you created an accountable culture?


Connection: Fueling Purpose and Belonging

Creating connections with your veterinary team

In a thriving practice, there's a powerful connection between what motivates each individual and the overall mission. People crave meaningful work, and a sense of belonging within their team. When they feel their contributions matter, they're far more likely to stay and give their best.

Does Your Practice Have a Compelling Vision?

A clear, inspiring vision is the glue that binds everything together. Ask yourself:

  • Could your team clearly articulate your practice's vision? If not, it's time to define it!
  • Does your vision ignite passion and a sense of purpose? It should be more than just words on the wall.
  • Does your vision naturally attract the right people? Those who share your values will be drawn to your team.

Building a Culture of Connection

It's about fostering an environment where:

  • Team members feel their individual goals align with the bigger picture. Regular conversations make a difference here.
  • Everyone feels supported and valued, fostering a true sense of team. Celebrate wins together, big and small!
  • Open communication and collaboration are the norm. This creates a sense of ownership.

Key Questions for Leaders:

  • How are you actively connecting day-to-day work to your practice's vision?
  • Do you make space to recognize individual contributions and how they serve the greater purpose?
  • Are you championing a collaborative environment where everyone has the opportunity to contribute?

Creating Your Fully Engaged Veterinary Team

Building a team of truly engaged employees takes dedication, but the rewards for your practice, your clients, and your staff are immense. Focus on these three C's – Culture, Coaching, and Connection – and watch engagement flourish.

Ready to build a happier, more productive team? See how creating a fully engaged team can transform your practice! Start your FREE 7-day trial today and access powerful tools, strategies, and expert support designed specifically for veterinary leaders.

What's the level of engagement in your practice? Share your story in the comments below.

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