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10 Ways to Show Love and Appreciation to Your Employees

In a recent blog post, we explored the topic of how to prevent veterinarian burnout in 2023 so that you can retain more employees. Stress and burnout are prevalent in the Veterinary profession, and as a result, it’s one of the top issues facing hiring managers. Consequently, veterinarians and other Veterinary workers are quitting their jobs in pursuit of better employment within the profession or they’re leaving the profession altogether.

It’s the goal of every Veterinary employer to hire better in 2023, but it should also be the goal of every employer to achieve a higher retention rate. One way to accomplish this is by showing appreciation of your employees. Veterinarians and other workers are more likely to be engaged at work and less likely to seek new employment opportunities if they know they’re being appreciated by their employer.

And since this is the month of February, below are 10 ways to show love and appreciation to your employees:

#1—Put them on your organization’s website.

This is one of the simplest things that you can do. It’s almost a certainty that your organization has a website, so if you don’t already have a “staff’ page, then this is a good time to create one.

This has a dual purpose. Not only will your employees feel more appreciated, but it will also give customers the opportunity to know your employees before calling or bringing their pet to the practice.

#2—Recognize employees publicly.

While recognizing employees privately for the good work that they’re doing is a step in the right direction, doing so publicly has an even greater impact.

You can recognize employees in the company newsletter (if you have one), through a company-wide email, on social media, or a combination of all three. You’re only limited by your imagination.

#3—Recognize non-work achievements.

Employees do have a personal life, and some of them achieve special things during their non-work hours. Did one of them win an award? Did one of them run in a marathon?

You might be surprised by the hobbies and interests of your employees, as well as their achievements in the pursuit of those interests. Recognizing these achievements will show that you care about more than just their worth as employees.

#4—Recognize birthdays and anniversaries.

Every employee has a birthday and a work anniversary (the date that they officially started work with the organization). So, you already have two reasons to recognize every single one of your employees during the course of a calendar year.

You can recognize employees publicly for their birthdays and anniversaries, such as during a staff meeting. However, if your organization has social media accounts (and it should), then mentioning staff birthdays and anniversaries through your channel is another way to recognize employees.

#5—Take your staff out to lunch.

Not only does this show appreciation to your employees, but it also creates the opportunity to get to know them a little better as people. As mentioned above, they do have a life outside of work, so find out what they do with those lives.

It’s difficult to keep employees engaged if you only engage them regarding work-related activities.

#6—Hire a food truck.

I relayed this story in a recent blog post. Following a negative encounter with a customer, a Veterinary practice owner closed his hospital for the day and brought in a food truck for all of his employees. This helped to reduce stress and increase engagement throughout the organization.

You don’t have to do this every week, of course. A few times each year will be enough to let employees know that you appreciate their efforts.

#7—Create a staff appreciation holiday.

In case you’re wondering, Employee Appreciation Day is Friday, March 3. Hopefully, that will give you plenty of time to prepare to do something on that day to appreciate your employees.

However, you don’t need an official holiday to show your appreciation. In fact, some organizations hold special staff appreciation events in conjunction with the seasons. In the summer, they have a cookout-type event with food and fun activities, and later in the year, they have an autumn-type event with food, drink, and activities related to the fall season.

#8—Have a food or treat day.

You can’t go wrong with food in the workplace. Everyone must eat and (most) everyone likes to eat, and you don’t need a special occasion to do so. Although food has been part of the other items on this list, buying ice cream for everyone while they work could be a “pick me up” for employees who are having a bad day or are worn down and stressed.

#9—Hand out branded merchandise.

Another name for this is SWAG, which stands for Stuff We All Get. This could include t-shirts, mugs, a mouse pad, etc., all with the organization’s name and logo on it. You can even give employees larger items, such as a hoodie or sweatshirt. Not only will this help employees to feel more appreciated, but it will also help to foster camaraderie and a team atmosphere.

#10—Ask them what they want.

Go straight to the source and ask your employees how they would like to be appreciated. If you have a relatively small staff, you could ask them individually, one at a time. Or you can also send a staff-wide survey via email and record their responses. You can even structure the survey so that the answers are anonymous if that will entice people to contribute more of their ideas.

Ultimately, your success as an organization depends on how well you hire and how well you retain your employees—especially your top employees. If you haven’t been doing everything you can to show your appreciation, then start right now to ensure that your employees feel appreciated and are fully engaged for the remainder of 2023 and beyond.

We invite you to find out more about our Veterinary recruiting services for employers and also learn more about our recruiting process and how we can help you hire more veterinarians this year.

We help support careers in one of two ways: 1. By helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals to find the right opportunity when the time is right, and 2. By helping to recruit top talent for the critical needs of Animal Health and Veterinary organizations. If this is something that you would like to explore further, please send an email to stacy@thevetrecruiter.com.

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