Employers Guide

Employer support – Being an employer can be a significant source of stress in it’s own right. If you need support and help check out our resources below, or if you need free confidential advice speak direct to Vetlife any time, any day on 0303 040 2551.  Or Samaritans on 116 123

Mental Health – Read HERE about the significant cost of mental illness within the workplace, and for links to resources to improve the wellbeing of your team.  Mental health at Work is a fantastic resource, collating all the important legislation, advice, blogs, signposting to resources from a wide variety of sources.  If you’re an employer take a look!

Build a better practice – Take a look at the SPVS Wellbeing awards.  Complete their online wellbeing checklist to see how are you doing now, and how could you improve?  Take a look at this Article from Practice Today on the ‘Most motivated team possible’ for some ideas.

Teamwork – Invest in your team and you’ll reap the benefits. Nottingham Veterinary Safety Culture Survey (NVSCS)  indicated a less hierarchical team results in better function.  Teamwork training was stated as a valuable method to improve safety and quality.  It can improve clinical performance, efficiency and culture, leading to improved patient outcomes in the medical profession.

Culture – Creating a culture of Kindness may sound airy-fairy, but staff will often give 110% gladly if they are thanked and shown kindness in return.  Testimonials have shown that one kind act can save a life, stopping a potential suicide in its tracks.  Challenge your staff to show one act of kindness a week to one another – be it seeing the extra consult on your colleague’s list; baking a cake for the cleaner’s birthday; making a cuppa for the receptionist whose throat is dry from fielding all those calls…  Culture starts from the top down.  Read this great blog on how transformational leadership can change your practice culture.

Blame culture is all too common in the veterinary profession, and is increasingly a topic of conversation, e.g. our current RCVS president Stephen May addressed this in his inaugural speech.  VetLed are bringing the concept of Just Culture to the veterinary profession; initially created in the aviation industry (where mistakes have potentially catastrophic effects), just culture enables mistakes to be talked about and addressed openly, without apportioning un-necessary blame.  This model is being increasingly adopted by the medical profession, and is hugely applicable and valuable to the veterinary profession.

Leadership coaching and mentoring for employers – good leadership skills can be vital to running and maintaining a successful practice and a happy team.  These skills don’t emerge from the ether, or from veterinary degrees, so spend the time and money to make yourself a better boss.  Click here for mentoring and leadership resources.

Coaching and mentoring for your team – individual and team coaching can benefit the entire practice and enable better provision of services to create a happier, more loyal client base.  This is a rapidly growing area, with veterinary specific coaches increasing in number and expertise.  Here a few we can recommend – contact us if you have any feedback or recommendations, or see the mentoring resource page.

Foreign Employees – There are increasing numbers of foreign MRCVSs making up our numbers.  Thankfully, there are also increasing support and mentoring available for a foreign employee and the practices they work within.  Vet Abroad has was setup by a Spanish vet who has worked all over the world.  The website provides help and support through Practice Aid services.  For employees, UK Vet Move provides information, blogs, support and a community for foreign vets to connect and obtain advice and support.

Business support services:

Adrian Nelson-Pratt of Veterinary Business Consultancy specialises in veterinary leadership, human resources an marketing

Onswitch – Train, Measure, Manage and Inspire teams to deliver a great customer experience.

Skills Tree – Jenny Moffat, a vet for 20 years, offers online coaching and training in communication, career and well-being topics

Dr. Dave Nichol is a veterinary business specialist offering team coaching, business reviews and online learning resources.

Purple Cat Coaching specialise in leadership, communication and team building.  Presented a mindfulness seminar at London Vet Show 2016

Communication – effective intra-professional and client based communication can have a huge impact on your practice.  Figures from the Veterinary Defence Society suggest that communication failure is a factor in 80 per cent of claims relating to professional negligence (RADFORD et al (2010Developing a network for small animal disease surveillanceVeterinary Record 167472474 doi:10.1136/vr.c5180)

Sign up for the following RVC webinar covering:

  • Clinical communication with clients
  • Interprofessional communication
  • Communication in challenging situations – teamwork and prevention of mistakes
  • Communication with ‘self’ and review

The BVA has a Media Guide for vets – how to market your practice effectively and provide information for clients.

Compassion – End of life compassion and care to both client and patient can be one of the most challenging experiences for all concerned.  Pets are family, and the hole they can leave in the life of their owners once departed can be immense.  Compassion Understood have created information for owners and training programmes for practices to better equip us to provide the best possible care.  Practices can become accredited with Compassion Understood status.  It costs, but could be money well spent if client retention is increased.

EMS – provide a better mutual experience with students by creating an EMS guide for them to complete when they come to see practice – a short checklist of their priorities, alongside a summary of what you expect of them (where to be, when, break and lunchtimes, duties and responsibilities).  Download our customisable templates for Small Animal EMS, Equine EMS, Farm Animal EMS.  Or downloads the BVA’s EMS guide for Practitioners

Technology – The stratospheric shift in information technologies in the last 2 decades has left many professions struggling to catch up.  There are some great blogs on how to employ social media platforms to better your business.  Vetpol Business Boosters are a good place to start.

RCVS has launched it’s Vivet website to monitor and inform on veterinary innovation and, while welcoming developments ensuring they are regulated appropriately.

Acas have just published a study into how technologies affect the workplace; here is an excerpt, click here for the full report:

In general, communication technologies have enabled greater breadth but possibly reduced depth of human interaction – we look at the decline of face- to-face conversations at work as a possible contributor to workplace conflict and reduced quality of interpersonal relationships. … The spread of email enabled smartphones is another area of focus – they bring new dimensions to the question of work/life balance, posing a particular challenge for those who prefer to clearly segment their work from home lives… Questions over privacy, consent, ownership, storage and use of data need to be carefully considered. The possibility that such metrics might find their way into recruitment processes or employee performance reviews could throw up new ethical quagmires in the future.”

Employer guides – Know your employment responsibilities and rights: Employers ACAS guide (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service)

The BVA have numerous resources on employment, including a recent graduate PDP Guide for employersa guide on maternity and paternity rights and obligations