3 ideas to boost your veterinary team's spirit
Motivating team members sometimes means getting outside the workday routine and seeing another side of your coworkers. Expanding your work relationships can help the entire team work better together. Consider these ideas:
1. Once a year, we let the team know that we are going to do an event together, but it's only for the team, rather than spouses and other family members. We'll meet somewhere, then give everyone final directions for our destination. We pick a shopping destination like a local mall or an outlet mall. Once there, we hand each employee a $100 bill and tell them they have one hour to spend it, with only two stipulations: They must spend it on themselves and whatever isn't spent has to be given back. We really like to do this in late November, as there are often employees who are saving every cent for the holidays and would not otherwise spend a cent on themselves.
2. Periodically, we like to take the team somewhere for an activity that is out of their comfort zone—bowling or paintball, for example. Both events have helped us strip away the hierarchy of the practice and remind everyone that regardless of initials behinds names, we are all really the same outside of veterinary medicine.3. For our holiday party, I save all the free stuff that we get with orders or special deals over the year, and we do the drawing game where you can open a present or steal one that's already opened. We end up with an iPad occasionally, weekends at the coast, jackets and gift cards. It's a fun way to use some of the clinic's resources.
Kyle Palmer, CVT, is a Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member and practice manager at Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, Ore.