Celebrate National Veterinary Technician Week
But Don’t Forget the Other Staff
Attention Managers! And Owners, too!
National Veterinary Technician Week is a week designated for Technicians and Veterinary Assistants in our hospital. These staff members have gone the extra mile to either attend school or get an education in some way to learn how to do what they do, and it’s special. When you lump kennel, support staff and receptionists into this week, it diminishes the meaning of this week. The week was designed to recognize the veterinary technician’s contributions to the industry and your specific hospital.
You should celebrate Technicians during National Veterinary Technician Week. Receptionists are celebrated the week of Administrative Professional Week. And, then you need to find a week to celebrate the support staff.
Are You Recognized for Your Contribution?
Let’s turn the tables just a bit; what if when bosses day came up, instead of recognizing you, as a manager, everyone in the hospital was recognized. Your feelings would likely be hurt, at a minimum. You might feel a little offended, or even downright angry. It’s because it’s your time to celebrate.
It’s not because you don’t appreciate all the other staff, it’s because it takes away from the recognition you are getting. I equate it to “participation trophies”. I’m sorry, but not everyone deserves a trophy. You have to earn it. And, National Veterinary Technician Week was earned by everyone that holds that position; everyone that has worked hard to get where they are, regardless of how long they have been doing this job, in your hospital or not.
We don’t think of technicians as better than the other staff; they are just different than the rest. The same way receptionists are different, the same way kennel staff is different. We have technician’s assistants that basically clean, clean, clean. They do a fantastic job and when it is time to celebrate them, every person in every other department will show them how much we appreciate them for what they do. They will have their own celebration, just like every other department does.
Each department gets a different week throughout the year for just them. Make is special; don’t give them a participation trophy. Celebrate everyone for what they bring to the table (or hospital). Personalize it with a hand-written card, or a special item for each individual. A gift care to a restaurant you know they like, or candy that is special to them. Money isn’t everything; acknowledging them for being an individual, showing you know them is.
We suggest you have a little something for each one in the department each day of the week, Monday through Friday. Do this each week for different departments that you celebrate; technicians, receptionists, kennel, support staff, doctors, etc. The monetary value of each of these weeks is basically the same, per person. In other words, if you spend $100 per day for technicians during their week, spend $100 per day for kennel during their week.
And, for are any owners reading this, don’t forget what your management staff is bringing to the table. Remember to celebrate them as well. A little recognition for someone in management goes a very long way because people in management often get recognized way less than everyone else, if at all. If you’re not sure what to do for them, get staff together to ask them for help in recognizing your management team. You might be surprised to find how helpful they are in this. They want to recognize their boss, but often don’t think about it or even know what to do.
Giving staff a budget and asking them to help, it a great way to get everyone involved. It will do wonders for the morale of your management team; especially, if your management “team” is actually only “one” individual.