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Give gas cards to boost morale


As gas prices stay steep, gas cards are a great way to reward employees.

The cost of gas may be financially hurting veterinary team members who drive long distances to work. And a recent survey by Florida State University found that 33 percent of full-time workers who commute using their own vehicles said they'd quit their jobs for a comparable position closer to home if they had the chance.

That's a threat that's leading many employers to offer transportation-related assistance to their employees. Here's a sampling of what human-medicine physicians are doing for their employees:

Gas all around. Dr. Michael Forman in Cleveland, Ohio, gives his office manager, who has a sizable commute, a $120 gas card every month. Other team members get a $25 gas card. "This has increased staff morale considerably," Dr. Forman says.

A great big thank-you. Dr. Hal Ornstein in Howell, N.J., recently gave his team one heck of a thank-you gift. "A few weeks ago, to show our appreciation for their great efforts, we gave the employees each a $100 gas card," Dr. Ornstein says. "They loved it! It's not our customer who's number one, it's our staff."

Weekly allowance. Dr. Sheldon Marne in Hendersonville, N.C., knew employee Loraine Templeton suffered a lengthy commute to work. But Dr. Marne showed more than understanding—he showed a keen interest in keeping Templeton on the staff. When the price of gas topped $2 a gallon, Dr. Marne started—with no discussion—giving Templeton a weekly gas allowance. "When it reached $4 a gallon, he increased the allowance," Templeton says. "I'm grateful to be working with someone who appreciates his employees and goes out of his way to help—and help it does."

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Bob Levoy is a speaker and writer based in Roslyn, N.Y. His newest book is 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing, and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices (Jones and Bartlett, 2007).

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