How to reduce turnover

Managers: Take responsibility and ask your team to do the same.
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Aug 01, 2008

In just a few years, staff turnover dropped from 25 percent to less than 10 percent at Meadow Hills Veterinary Center in Kennewick, Wash. Practice manager Brian Conrad, CVPM, says it's a promise he made that did the trick: "No team member will leave the practice feeling unchallenged, concede to a lack of direction, or have professional growth hindered." Managers take responsibility for hiring good team members, firing those who don't fit the practice, training new and continuing employees, and giving staff members chances to grow and progress. When a team member fails, managers point the finger at themselves first: Did they train enough? Were adequate reference materials available? Did they hire someone who didn't have the skills for the position in the first place?

But a leader's promise to direct and foster growth only goes so far. Conrad asked team members to hold up their end of the bargain, too. For the promise to work, team members must:

> Face their fear of change to try new things and risk failure.

> Leap quickly at new opportunities to help.

> Help plan solutions when there's a problem at the practice.