How to Prevent Veterinary Team Turnover in Your Hospital: Four Proven Strategies

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Team of Veterinary Doctors and Staff at a Clinic

19 April 2023 Rajat Sharma Leave a comment The Onward Vet Resources and Veterinary Blog

The veterinary industry is no stranger to high staff turnover rates. According to recent studies, the veterinary industry has a turnover rate of approximately 25%, which is higher than many other industries. In addition, there is currently a shortage of qualified veterinary professionals, making it even more important to retain existing staff. 

A high staff and veterinary technician turnover rate can hurt your practice as it leads to decreased productivity, increased costs, and low morale among staff. 

Let’s explore why keeping your team happy is vital to a practice’s success and how to prevent team veterinary turnover in your hospital. 

Recognize the Signs of Burnout and Disengagement 

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It leads to a lack of energy, feelings of cynicism and detachment, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. 

The impact of burnout and disengagement can be significant, both for individual team members and the hospital as a whole — in May 2019, the WHO added burnout to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as an occupational phenomenon. 

Is your team experiencing or at risk of burnout? The signs include:

  • Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia, headaches, and physical pain.
  • Emotional symptoms, such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and a lack of motivation or enthusiasm.
  • Behavioral symptoms, such as absenteeism, decreased productivity, increased errors or mistakes, and a lack of engagement with coworkers and patients. 

Recognizing these signs early on is vital and should be treated with the seriousness it deserves. To prevent team veterinary turnover in your hospital due to burnout, address underlying causes such as workload issues, a lack of support or recognition, or inadequate compensation. 

This proactive approach will improve overall morale and job satisfaction. 

Implement Retention Strategies 

Losing your best team members is a major setback for any veterinary hospital. That’s why it’s important to invest in keeping employees happy, motivated, and engaged.

Some retention strategies that have been proven effective in any industry include: 

  • Offering competitive salaries and benefits: Compensation is a major factor in job satisfaction. You attract better talent and prevent turnover when you pay your staff well. 
  • Providing opportunities for continuing education and professional development: Veterinary medicine is constantly evolving, and offering opportunities for continuing education and professional development ensures team members stay up-to-date and advance their careers within the hospital. 
  • Using tools to ease workload: Tools like veterinary management software streamline and automate many of the administrative tasks in a veterinary hospital, greatly reducing job workload and stress levels. 
  • Recognizing and appreciating effort: A conducive environment has a significant impact on preventing veterinary team turnover in your hospital. Recognition for a job well done fosters teamwork and contributes to higher job satisfaction. 

Promote Open Communication 

Effective communication is crucial for any successful team, and veterinary hospitals are no exception. A culture of open communication means team members are more likely to feel comfortable discussing any issues they may be facing, such as work-related stress or job dissatisfaction. This prevents small issues from escalating and potentially leading to burnout or turnover. 

In addition, open communication increases trust and respect between team members and management, which ultimately improves the overall functioning of your clinic. 

However, all this is only possible if management prioritizes listening to staff concerns and promptly addressing issues. 

Maintain a Thriving and Positive Workplace 

All the above strategies can help you keep your staff, doctors, and veterinary technician turnover rate low for a thriving hospital. 

Additionally, using tools like Onward Vet to ease the business and administrative workload allows your team to focus on providing the best possible care for your patients. 

Our specially-designed veterinary office management software anticipates the unique needs of every kind of clinic to make your life easier. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Onward Vet can help you prevent veterinary team turnover in your hospital. 


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