Celebrate the team bond

Celebrate the team bond

Jan 01, 2007

A clinic that joined our group about seven years ago hosted a huge annual end-of-heartworm-season celebration for its employees. The owner felt this was a good way to show his appreciation and thank the staff for the long, hard summer of work. How could we take this away from the team when he sold us the practice? We didn't. Instead, we tweaked it.

We opted for an end-of-summer staff appreciation party. We've thrown a lot of different types of appreciation events—picnics, half-day boat cruises, bowling, and most recently, a nice lunch for each of our hospital teams. If you're close with a sales rep or two, invite them along. Who knows, he or she might help sponsor part of the event.

Lunches or dinners are great because they're intimate and give your team bonding time outside of the practice. At our gatherings I tell the story of how we started the appreciation event. We go around the table and share what we appreciate about the hospital and each other. And often tears are shed.

I thank the team for the great care they give our patients and clients. As an absentee owner, the fact that I sleep well at night and don't worry about our hospitals is something I appreciate and want them to know.

Dr. Jeff Rothstein
Ultimately, this celebrates the bond on a number of levels: the bond amongst our team, the bond with our profession, and of course, the human-animal bond. This is a great tradition for our team and if you're not doing something similar, give it a try. Have fun with it. This year we let our teams decide—within reason—how they wanted to celebrate. One of the only rules is that I have to attend. It's selfish on my part, maybe, but I want to celebrate with them.

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein is president of The Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group in Michigan.

Hot topics on dvm360

Dog of Dallas Ebola patient will not be euthanized, authorities say

Health officials have quarantined and will monitor dog and amid concerns surrounding deadly virus.

Video: How to perform a belt-loop gastropexy

Prevent GDV in your at-risk patients with this simple technique.

Stretch your skills to earn more in veterinary practice

Finding new tasks could be the key to generating more income for your practice—and boosting your pay.

Veterinary community stunned by Sophia Yin's unexpected death

Prominent veterinary behaviorist died of suicide Sept. 28.

Study shows sustained salary slump for veterinary support staff

Since 2009, technicians paid by the hour have experienced a bump in pay, but pay for other team members has stayed stagnant, according to data from the 2014 Firstline Career Path Study. Here’s a look at changes in team pay from 2009 to 2013.