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The costs of not being a 'good boss and employer'
Kristie Faulkner spoke at BSAVA Congress.
Kristie Faulkner speaks at BSAVA Congress

"Your workforce is a really high cost for your business," said Kristie Faulkner from White Cross Vets, speaking at the BSAVA Congress on the challenges of recruitment and retention in veterinary practice.

Being a good employer is more than just paying a salary. It is about providing work-life balance, an attractive package, and resources for personal growth and development. It should also go beyond the expected, bearing in mind that it is often "little things that make a difference".

"Remember, until the basic personal necessities of life are covered, the motivation to achieve, develop and give more to the practice will not be there," Kristie explained.

She said that the management title of 'boss' should be avoided because of its negative connotations. A good leader empowers decision making, gives clear instruction, is respected by the team and is willing to 'muck in'. Leaders who project warmth are more likely to be trusted and successful than those who are simply 'tough'.

The UK average for employee 'churn' is 15 per cent – compared with up to 28 per cent in some large veterinary groups. Some churn is good but an excessive level is very costly, especially in terms of recruitment and training; as well as the negative impact on the remainder of the team,  locum costs, client dissatisfaction and the 'hangover' effect when the new person starts work.

The right team member must be competent, fit with your values, be 'smiley', have a positive attitude, be helpful, friendly and team players.

It is a valuable exercise to analyse why people stay. Is it that they feel part of the practice 'family', aligned with company values, feel valued, can see progression and development in the future? Is there scope for you to fill their 'emotional bank account' and offer some 'give and take'?

When somebody does leave, it is well worth carrying out an 'exit interview'. It can be revealing! 


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Webinar to explore the meaning of veterinary leadership

News Story 1
 The WSAVA has announced a free webinar exploring the meaning of veterinary leadership in the 21st century.

Taking place at noon on Tuesday, October 19, the webinar will explore the role of veterinary professionals in leading on animal welfare, the leadership competencies required of all veterinary professionals, and the effects of leadership style on teams.

The webinar, which ends with a Q&A session, will be moderated be WSAVA President Dr Siraya Chunekamrai and led by Veterinary Management Group President Richard Casey. For more information and to access the event, click here

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News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.