We often hear from animal hospitals that they cannot compete with the salaries being offered by corporate practices and are struggling to recruit and retain great team members. We in the iVET360 HR and Training department heartily disagree! Small, privately owned hospitals can create a culture that shows their team members how much they are valued. This is a factor that is more cherished by excellent employees, than higher wages.
So…how can you create your dream culture?
In the corporate business world, there is buzz around the idea of being a “learning organization.” Ideally, this means that you are cultivating a culture in which team members feel appreciated because the company is investing in them. These companies facilitate the learning of all team members, which helps the company continually transform itself. Put simply: learning organizations ensure their teams are constantly learning new skills, ideas, and talents that elevate the company above the competition.
Research shows that when an employee even perceives training in their role to be an investment in their success, they become more engaged and are less likely to seek outside employment. Training for only a few minutes a week can immediately increase that perception of learning among your team.
While becoming a true learning organization takes some time, the first step is helping the team to learn on a routine basis. This doesn’t have to be in the form of pricey conferences, rather quick and effective in-hospital training. We love the concept of Microlearning! Microlearning, as it implies, means taking a large concept and breaking it into smaller, bite-sized pieces. This could look like taking an idea such as managing angry clients, and creating small, 5–10-minute classes that address one aspect of the topic at a time.
Benefits of a mini-training structure:
- Prioritizes team education while adapting to a short attention span
- Gives the organization members a chance to integrate the specific skill they learned into their day-to-day activities, before moving on to the next topic.
- Creates perceived value for employees on a weekly basis, keeping them engaged and stimulated.
There are many ways for a hospital to integrate microlearning on its journey to becoming a learning organization. Some hospitals will lead classes for their teams during weekly team meetings and huddles, or do a “lunch and learn”. However, this all takes time that many managers and supervisors don’t have. We have found that hospitals benefit from having an online learning solution to provide these short courses to their teams. Platforms like LearningVet.com provide training on a wide variety of topics, with most presented in a microlearning format. This structure means that all you have to do is advise your team on what to take and give them a few minutes each week to take the course. Less stress on your plate!
Developing a culture that values education doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a concentrated effort that requires all hospital team members to continually grow their skills, knowledge and contribute their learnings to the greater good. The good news is that by implementing these strategies, you can increase team engagement and retention, by simply providing a few minutes of relevant training per week.