Three cheers for the team

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Feb 01, 2008

Here are three ways we recognize our team members' efforts at Michigan Veterinary Specialists:

1. Public displays of appreciation. Each time a co-worker, supervisor, or manager notices a team member going above and beyond, he or she writes up a STAR (service, teamwork, attitude, respect) card and posts it on the STAR board located outside the break room. Each week we take these cards down and randomly draw one from the bunch. The winner receives a certificate, a star pin, a bag of candy, and a $25 gift card. At the end of the month, we put all of the cards in a box and draw one for the monthly STAR award, which is a $50 gift card.

2. "Paws down, you're doing a good job." When a team member goes the extra mile for a fellow employee or a client, another co-worker or manager can nominate him or her for a Paws card. Team members accumulate these cards—each is worth one credit—and redeem them for a gift card, pet care, food, or boarding here at our hospital.

3. Break the routine. We spend up to $175 for monthly staff appreciation celebrations. A different department plans a unique celebration for the whole hospital each month. We've had cider and doughnut day in the fall, taco day, soup and salad day, pie day, ice cream sundae day, and so on. It gets the whole team involved, and everyone looks forward to what the next month will bring.

Kathy Estrada, LVT is the technical services manager at Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Southfield, Mich.