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Tip from Firstline Live 2008: Halt turnover


Employee referral programs help practices find--and keep--top-notch team members.

Almost 50 percent of your practice's team members are looking for another job. Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, told Firstline Live attendees that 22 percent of veterinary team members are actively seeking a new job and 25 percent are casually thinking about working somewhere else. To help reduce these turnover numbers at your practice, consider implementing an employee referral program, says Grosdidier, a partner at VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo.

Here's how the program works: Current team members encourage qualified people they know and trust to apply for available jobs at your practice. Then team members receive $200 when a person they recommended is hired. They receive an additional $200 when that recommended new hire has been employed for three months.

Wait. Spend $400 for a new hire? That's a lot of money. "But this price is a bargain compared to replacing an employee," Grosdidier says. Staff members who've come to you via an employee referral program are more apt to stay at your practice, in part because they learned about the job from a team member who's happy at your practice. "Potential employees value peer recommendations more than a boss's," Grosdidier says. "They're more interested in hearing an honest opinion from an employee."

To keep the program at the top of your team members' minds, Grosdidier suggests paying out the rewards at a staff meeting. When other team members see you laying down a stack of $20 bills, they'll be motivated to go out and find their own great new hire.

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