A recipe for affordable team incentives


Consider these sweet (and affordable) incentives to appreciate your veterinary team. Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too!

Do your team members want more benefits? (Yes.) Do you need to balance the business and the benefits you can afford to offer? (Yes.) Does this recipe sound impossible? It's not. In 2011 team members at my practice, Newberry Animal Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, were asking for more benefits. We already offered:

• Heath care

• Dental insurance

• Life insurance

• A matching IRA

I wasn't sure what else they were looking for, so here's what I whipped up-and how I did it.


1. An open mind

2. Imagination


Step 1. Get specific when team members ask for more benefits. Ask what they're really looking for. I discovered my team members were looking for special incentives for them and their pets.

Step 2. Listen to your team, and then brainstorm affordable options. For our practice, the solution was to offer an additional 20 percent off any blood work we sent to an outside lab and a paid day off work for the team member's birthday.

Step 3: Sweeten the deal. We allow team members to take their birthday leave-eight paid hours-anytime during the week of their birthday so they can enjoy a long weekend. They simply need to notify me the day before we post the schedule.

To this day, when new hires come on board with us they're always thrilled with the birthday pay incentive.

Katie Hill, CVT, CVPM, is the practice manager at Newberry Animal Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, and one of the 10 finalists for the Veterinary Economics Practice Manager of the Year award, sponsored by Nationwide. Read more about past Practice Manager of the Year nominees and winners as well as new nominees in the next few months at dvm360.com/PMOY.

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