Improving staff retention

ADVERTISEMENT

Improving staff retention

source-image
Dec 01, 2005

I'm having trouble with staff turnover. I train and reward employees, but they aren't sticking around. Any ideas?

"Conduct a no-holds-barred exit interview with staff members before they leave," says Dr. Mark Rick, a senior associate veterinarian at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center Inc. in Los Olivos, Calif. "There are always reasons someone leaves and seeks another job. Sure, sometimes it's not related to your practice, for example, the employee wants to relocate, work closer to home, or retire. But for those other people, find out why they're leaving so you can try to fix the problems."

Dr. Rick says you may be surprised at the feedback you receive. What you thought was fair compensation and adequate training may actually be falling short of the target.

"Another route would be to consult a practitioner with a similar business model and see how his or her pay schedule and training compare with yours," he says. "You may even be able to ask those employees why they stay. It could be that a $1-an-hour raise, more time off, flexible working hours, healthcare coverage, attractive retirement package, positive work environment, or a combination of relatively simple things could reverse the exodus."

Dr. Rick also recommends conducting semi-annual evaluations to catch problems earlier. "When you ask employees what they think, don't let your feelings get hurt and don't immediately defend your actions," he says. "Think about what the person's saying and how those observations could affect your turnover. The energy you spend finding solutions to your staff turnover problems will be worth the reward."

Hot topics on dvm360

Pol on defense as Michigan veterinary board discusses negligence charges

Controversial reality TV veterinarian calls his approach 'common sense.'

Photo gallery: The top 10 veterinary schools in America, according to U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report ranks programs for the first time since 2011.

Front Desk Disasters, Episode 3: Dude looks like a lady

Everyone's favorite receptionist is at it again. Would you handle this situation differently?

Video: Flea hideouts in the house

Parasitology expert Michael Dryden, DVM, MS, PhD, reveals prime hideouts for fleas—and gives tips to clear them out of clients' homes for good.

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

You might be surprised by what your clients are researching. Plus, get an educational client handout.