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Keeping Veterinary Practice Teams Engaged

While satisfied employees are more likely to be engaged and engagement is a strong indicator of satisfaction, one does not guarantee or replace the other.
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While satisfied employees are more likely to be engaged and engagement is a strong indicator of satisfaction, one does not guarantee or replace the other.

A thriving practice team generally follows when there is high employee engagement and wellbeing. Higher engagement leads to higher wellbeing, and vice versa. Together, they decrease burnout and increase productivity. Clearly, keeping your team engaged is important!

Business Briefs, authored by Amy L. Grice, VMD, MBA, are available in each issue of EquiManagement magazine and are brought to you for the remainder of 2021 in the magazine and monthly online by CareCredit

Employee “engagement” is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to their organizations and put discretionary effort into their work. It is not the same as employee satisfaction. While the two ideas are related—satisfied employees are more likely to be engaged; engagement is a strong indicator of satisfaction—one does not guarantee or replace the other.

Think of engagement as an emotional state where workers feel passionate, energetic and committed toward their work. In turn, they fully invest their best efforts in the work they do.

According to Gallup, 85% of employees globally are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work, and the management of the business accounts for 70% of the variance in engagement. Those companies that have employee engagement that ranks in the top quartile of engagement have 21% higher profitability than those organizations in the bottom three quartiles. Higher profitability, improved well-being and decreased burnout are the results of increased employee engagement.

Great! But how do you achieve it?

A successful employee engagement strategy is built on communication and trust between employees and employers. Good management is a primary factor. Practice leaders should model the organization’s core values, show pride in their teams, encourage professional development and hold every member of their teams accountable.

When an employee is committed to the company’s mission, engagement follows. Engaged employees feel valued by the practice and see value in the work they do—they believe in the good work done by the practice and understand how their roles contribute to its success.

Workers want feedback on their performances, and that inflences their level of engagement. Establishing regular review sessions with the team can be an ongoing tool to improve employee engagement. Employees want to know that the practice owners see and appreciate their efforts, so taking the time to acknowledge team members is important.

Practice owners must also show their passion for their work; a positive attitude is contagious. Team members want to follow an inspired leader. Being a part of something bigger than simple commerce encourages engagement. Employees who love horses can be filled with pride in working for a practice that is helping horses with compassion and skill. When practice leaders are burned out, everyone in the practice suffers.

Utilizing employee engagement surveys can help practices understand what is working in their organizations, and it will make employees feel valued. Giving each individual the opportunity to voice an opinion encourages honest, open communication.

Team building activities can be as simple as a volleyball game at a summer picnic for the practice family. What is important is having some time together doing something enjoyable as a group. Belonging is a strong human desire. A practice where employees feel they belong to something special is a practice where engagement is strong.

In summary, practices should live the values of the people, leaders should inspire followers with their passion, and team members should have high-level communication, mutual trust and excellent management. With these things in place, engagement will follow.

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Disclaimer from sponsor: is content is subject to change without notice and is offered for informational use only. All statements are the sole opinions of the author. Synchrony and its affiliates, including CareCredit, make no representations or warranties regarding the content. You are urged to consult with your individual advisors with respect to any information presented.

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