Continuing the conversation on the Vet Shortage research findings…

What’s the Number Three reason for 

The mass Vet Exodus?

Lincoln Institute’s research into the Global Veterinary Shortage points to low pay… when compared to what comparable graduates are earning in the fields of human medicine, dentistry, etc. And compared also to what Veterinary Graduates can earn outside of General Practice.

Did you miss our previous blogs on veterinary mass exodus reasons one or two?

Discover reason one click HERE… Stressful Client Interactions

Discover reason two click HERE… Poor Workplace Culture

Back to Reason Three. On the Vet’s Pay front – market forces are kicking in.

Employed vets are becoming acutely aware that it is a “sellers” market. Like with any supply and demand mismatch, good vets are becoming even more valuable to their employers as they are going to be harder to replace.

However, the good news is, whilst it is possible they could “go out there” and get a higher paid job…

Would they actually be any happier?

Being a vet that is a member of a great team in a supportive workplace where they feel appreciated and have aligned values with that of their workplace and colleagues counts for a lot… so all is not lost!

It doesn’t boil down to being just being about the money.

A Veterinary Practice owner recently reached out to me for some advice on how to handle the request for an unexpected and unscheduled pay rise from one of their veterinarians.

This is what I shared…

1. Firstly, communicate that you are open to review pay and would like to share some criteria for how that might look.

2. Schedule a sit down to explore and discuss. Don’t put this off.

3. Firstly, seek to understand what number they have in mind and why. Listen intently to their response.

4. Next up, communicate your criteria for assessing the overall value that a veterinary associate brings to your practice;

My criteria included…

A, Production – Or better still, let’s frame this up as Patient Advocacy Success.

Typically, as a profession, the equation used is to set an arbitrary ratio of Pay : Income Generation. The usual multiple quoted, as a rule of thumb, is 5X. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that some vets might be costing their employer money even when generating 6X their pay or could possibly be highly profitable at 4X.

It all depends on your individual veterinary business variable and fixed running costs. To get a true idea on where they need to be, you need to attribute a proportion of your fixed costs (e.g. rent, etc.) based on their hours worked and a proportion of your variable costs (COGS – drugs etc.) based on a percentage of their income generated. Think of each vet in your Practice as a micro-business unit. (ref. APL accountants).

B, Competence – Clinical skills, technical ability and patient outcomes.

C, Client Satisfaction – Rapport building and trust-gaining ability. Do they have a raving fan base of clients that happily take up their clinical recommendations?

D, Team Satisfaction – Are they a supportive team player that consistently upholds your Practice core values?

E, Loyalty – Longevity of employment should be recognised, valued and rewarded.

5. Next step is to undertake a Development Review – How do they rate themselves on meeting your expectations on the above 5 criteria compared to your assessment of them?

6. Set some goals and targets for anything beyond a regular annual, loyalty based, pay review based on any mismatch identified at step 5.

It’s far more compelling to be setting an expectation of; if you achieve this, I will pay you $X… compared to I’ll pay you $X if you promise to do better in “these areas”. The stick and carrot principle.

Remember too, there are other ways to reward and recognise your valued team members beyond the dollars…

  • Continuing education investment, team member development and progression pathway within your organisation.
  • Flexibility of days off, hours worked, etc.
  • Spontaneous rewards and appreciation – weekends away, dinners out, movie tickets, etc.
  • Financial support for voluntary work.

If your vet(s) need to focus on improving their Patient Advocacy (production) results and income generation then Lincoln’s brand-new on-line training program Leading Edge for Vets Professional Mastery Program can be their “How”. 

This program is proven to fast track patient advocacy results for new grads, recent grads and experienced vets alike.

Watch this short informative video here (6 minutes):

Now is the perfect time to introduce this fantastic new on-line resource that was created by Lincoln Institute to specifically address the three key causes of the Veterinary Attrition Crisis.

In order for you to be able to pay your vets more and maintain a sustainable and profitable veterinary business, what extra value are they going to deliver? And how will you help them achieve this? That way it will be a win-win outcome.

Whether you are a Veterinary Business Owner or a Veterinary Associate employee I really hope that you found this useful.

Let me know what you think.

If you would like to discuss the topics of veterinarian pay reviews and or individual development reviews with me, please go ahead and book in for a free 30-minute catch-up by clicking on the link below and book in for a day and time that suits you…

It would be great to connect for a chat soon.

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