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How to help veterinary team members earn more
Financial success at a veterinary hospital can pay off when it comes to salaries.
This was written by one of 10 finalists for the Veterinary Economics Practice Manager of the Year award, sponsored by VPI. For more from each finalist and a slideshow of the nominees, visit dvm360.com/PMOY.
When I was hired, one of the things our lead veterinarian lamented was the fact that, because of financial constraints, the staff hadn't received a raise in five years. The only way we could pay the employees more money was through the hospital's financial success. I explained this to the doctors and staff in an effort to help them understand that as scary as some of the changes were, they were going to rewarded for making them. The fact that these changes would help create raises helped the lead veterinarian understand the effect some of her actions were having on the financial health of the hospital. Also, the raises helped create employee "buy in," once they saw that some of our efforts were literally paying off.
I've found that veterinary professionals are very squeamish about financial concerns. Because our lead veterinarian was clearly very sensitive to client financial issues, I showed that her technicians depended on her for their financial stability and that a discount to one took money out of the pockets of the other.
Technicians are professionals, and as such should be compensated appropriately. Our veterinarian knew that, and when the hospital's financial status began to change she was able to give the staff the raises that they deserve.
Going forward, we found that the outside economy is driving raises as well. Hiring high-quality people is becoming more expensive, and in an effort to appropriately compensate employees for their loyalty, current employees are receiving raises.
Liane Ehrich is a Certified Veterinary Technician and former practice manager at Ventana Animal Hospital in Tuscon, Arizona.