Why continuing education is a smart move for your vet practice
Since returning from this year’s VMX in Orlando, my mind has been racing with the many exciting takeaways I’ve been wanting to share! While I was at the event, I posted a comment on my personal Facebook page about how much these conferences ignite me. I always come back with a renewed passion for our industry and for my clinic, as well as endless ideas, hints and tips to enable me to work smarter, not harder.
Often, I find that clinic owners seem hesitant to invest in their employees’ education and development – mainly because they consider it an expensive proposition that doesn’t show an immediate return on investment. That’s not necessarily true. Depending on the initiative, the return may come sooner vs. later. Either way, it’s sure to deliver a long-term benefit to both your employees and your business. In fact, in my clinic we require each staff member, from the kennel techs all the way through management, to earn a minimum of 12 CE credits per year.
At first glance, you may think continuing education will benefit your staff more than it will your practice, but that’s not the case. At the end of the day, happy employees make for better business.
5 ways continuing education can help support your veterinary practice:
Present continuing education as a benefit
This will help make your practice more appealing to talent. While often not mentioned during the hiring process, it’s something potential staff members will want to know about and it is no doubt something they will want to take advantage of. Supporting your employees’ career growth can make your business more attractive than the competition. Click To Tweet
Build employee retention and loyalty through continuing education
Although there is always the possibility that an employee may quit after attending a continuing education event or program, often the opposite is true. Paying for your employees to better themselves rather than giving monetary bonuses or other types of rewards generally creates longer-lasting loyalty.
Engage a member of your veterinary team to keep up with industry trends
Designate someone on your team to the task of keeping up-to-date on the latest products and developments within our industry. Larger veterinary conferences are an excellent way to see everything at once. Price shopping for a piece of equipment? Send a staff member along to do all the digging for you. Efficiency aside, this will give them the opportunity to put their professionalism and negotiation skill to work – skills they may not have an opportunity to sharpen in a typical office setting.
Often, staff members who attend conferences and other continuing education initiatives are so inspired by what they learn, they are excited to share their newfound knowledge with team members upon their return. Make sure you give them the opportunity to do so. If there’s something that particularly captures your interest, ask them to prepare a hand-out or lead a meeting so that they can share with the rest of your staff. Human-animal bond seminars are an excellent example of this. Information can easily be shared among staff, which will benefit your internal culture. It can also be used in promotions and marketing to increase revenue.
Motivate staff members and boost productivity
When employees are engaged and given the opportunity to grow, they’re more likely to give you their best work. Click To Tweet This means they’ll be more productive and more inclined to put their best foot forward, which will reflect in both your internal and external culture.
Interested in continuing education but not quite ready to make the financial investment?
Reach out to your product reps and see what they have to offer. I recently attended a seminar sponsored by Patterson Veterinary on Protecting Your Veterinary Practice in Today’s Digital World. I can share more about that another time. For now, I just want you to remember this:
Continuing education opportunities are abundant, and many are complimentary. Click To Tweet So take advantage of them — not only for your own education, but for your staff as well!
In fact, why not take five minutes now to explore the educational resources VetSuccess has compiled to help you prosper. You’ll find webinars, case studies and more waiting for you right here. Good luck!
Wendy Jureski CCFE has worked in veterinary medicine for more than 20 years. She is the business manager at a small veterinary practice in Jacksonville. You can reach Wendy at email@example.com.