Veterinary Technicians’ Resilience is the Heart of Veterinary Medicine. That’s the theme for this year’s National Veterinary Technician Week (October 16-22).
But with practice culture and staff retention becoming more important than ever, let’s not wait till October to show our vet techs they matter. Here are five easy ways to do just that.
1. Find out their preferences
Different people have different things that make them feel appreciated. Talk to your vet techs and get to know what they prefer. For some, it’s praise and positive feedback that matters, for others it’s getting extra support with their tasks, while others might prefer team-building events and activities.
2. Give thoughtful gifts
Find out what your vet techs are interested in and give them personalised gifts that reflect that. Something with a photo of their pets is a sweet option, as are goodie bags with their favourite snacks, a gift card to a favourite restaurant, or even event tickets.
3. Highlight their achievements
Show their colleagues and clients how your vet techs make a difference. Most people don’t know what a vet tech does, so it’s a great opportunity to let clients know how important vet techs’ role is in keeping their pets healthy. Authentic, meaningful praise on social media goes a long way. You could make a poster to display in your waiting room with the vet techs’ photos, names, and a bit about what they do for your practice.
4. Find out their career goals
Spend some time talking to your vet techs about where they want to go in their careers and what they want to learn. Useful skills many vet techs are interested in include pain management, collaborating with a team, and talking to clients about money. Think about possible training opportunities you could offer them to benefit both them and the practice.
5. Invest in their wellbeing
Develop a positive workplace culture by encouraging a healthy work-life balance. Vet techs rarely need pushing to work hard–they care about what they do and are more likely to burn out than slack off. Offering them flexible schedules and plenty of paid leave will make them feel appreciated and potentially save you money on new hires.
Vet techs face the practical and emotional challenges of their role with resilience, love for animals, and a passion for what they do. Make sure you’re celebrating them–because any practice would be lost without them.