5 Ways to Appreciate Your Vet Techs
The third week of October is officially considered “National Vet Tech Week,” but here at Dream Team Elite, we know that people in this role deserve to be recognized and appreciated all year round. Let’s face it, between breaking their backs lifting heavy pets onto exam tables, placing catheters, dealing with unruly patients and all the other unglamorous duties they’re tasked with, being a vet tech can feel like a thankless job. That’s why it’s so important that practice managers and owners do their part to celebrate the technicians who make their practices run so well.
Aside from routinely saying “thank you,” and offering the traditional acknowledgments of a job well done, like cash bonuses, there are some creative and out-of-the-box things you can do as well. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can give back and really wow your vet techs (boosting staff retention while you’re at it).
Provide Coffee and/or Food
It may seem like a small gesture, but offering free snacks and drinks can really make your staff feel appreciated. There are lots of ways to do this, whether it’s bringing in a Keurig and stocking up on K-Cups or having breakfast or lunch catered once or twice a week. Go with what works for you and what suits your budget. Trust us – your vet techs will appreciate the effort either way.
Give Personalized Gifts
What’s your lead technician’s favorite place to eat dinner or shop? Learning about these things can help you personalize your rewards. Imagine coming in to work on a random Wednesday and finding a gift card to your favorite coffee shop waiting for you with a hand-written thank you note. These small things go a long way toward staff satisfaction and retention. Besides, getting to know your team is important.
Extend Some Time Off
The job of a vet tech can be incredibly demanding, which is why burnout is so prevalent. A great way to let your technicians know you are grateful for their hard work and dedication is to offer them a little extra time away from the clinic. This could be in the form of an extra vacation day, an offer to take a half-day once in a while, or even just a longer lunch break when the schedule is slow. As a bonus, you’ll ward off burnout and keep your staff fresh and engaged, which is better for everyone.
Go On an Outing
Letting your hair down and enjoying a bit of much-needed down time together is a great way to team-build. And when you’re willing to foot the bill, your team will be even more grateful. Once in a while – whether weekly, monthly or quarterly – take your team on an outing somewhere. It could be out to dinner, a game of bowling, a visit to an escape room – anything, really. Feel free to be creative. Just make an effort – that’s the part that counts.
Use an Employee Recognition Platform
One of the easiest and most efficient ways to routinely recognize your hard-working vet techs is to utilize a formal employee rewards program. Bonusly is a great example of this, as it allows employees to redeem bonus points for rewards. Not only do platforms like this enable you, as the practice manager or owner, to show your appreciation, but they also empower your entire team to work toward shared goals and celebrate successes. This will ultimately help to drive your practice forward in a positive, productive direction.
Burnout and fatigue are very real problems in the veterinary industry – particularly for those in the demanding role of vet tech. While recognition isn’t a magical solution to all the challenges your tech team faces, it’s at least a step in the right direction. Hopefully the five suggestions above will give you a solid starting point.