Beyond the satisfaction of working with and helping animals, veterinary well-being is strongly associated with positive relationships with clients, successful results and close collaboration with other members of the profession, according to a study of Australian veterinarians. Being happy at work reduces the stress associated with the profession, avoids job turnover and has an impact on the good work environment in the clinic.
Despite what most people may believe, having a vocation is no guarantee of being happy at work. There are actors, social workers, scientists or veterinarians –all of them very vocational professions– who are not happy with the work they do every day. Low pay, long working hours, loneliness or difficult working relationships with bosses and colleagues are reasons enough to want to change jobs or even switch careers.
What can the company provide to keep workers happy?
A good salary is important, but it’s not always a priority. As the manager of a veterinary centre, you will have noticed a change in the trend. The new generations of workers are prioritising flexibility and work-life balance, i.e. having working hours that fit in with family and personal commitments, and the ability to develop their professional careers without affecting their personal and family life.
This last point, important for any worker, is even more crucial in the veterinary sector, with an overwhelming majority of young veterinarians at the age of starting a family.
Flexible working hours and being able to develop a career without compromising your personal life are priorities for the new generation of workers.
Other factors that motivate employees are professional recognition within the company in the form of praise, bonuses, extra social benefits that the company can provide to its employees, such as dental insurance, housing benefits, childcare for children, etc.
As for the work itself, having a good working environment, identifying with the company’s values and reputation, having encouraging bosses and having stability and job security are also factors that workers value highly in order to feel happy in their jobs.
What makes veterinarians happy at work?
Due to its special characteristics the veterinary profession has specific circumstances that veterinarians value highly when they perceive that they are happy in their work.
According to the study “Sources of pleasure in veterinary work: A qualitative study” carried out in Australia, in addition to enjoying good working conditions, veterinarians are happy when:
– They have positive relationships with clients.
– They maintain cordial and collaborative relationships with colleagues.
– They are acknowledged for their work, both by the patients’ guardians and by their superiors.
– They have the possibility to utilise and develop their medical speciality.
– They have successful patient outcomes.
Logically, priorities will be different for everyone. There will be those who prioritise their academic career above all else. And there will be those who are happy in a clinic or hospital that functions as one big family, where everyone supports each other and where each veterinarian feels safe and empowered in their decisions.
Owners and managers of clinics and hospitals have the specific responsibility to make sure that all veterinarians and employees are happy at work. It not only avoids the dreaded job turnover and economic loss that comes with stress and Burnout, but also increases the productivity and efficiency of the whole team.
If you would like more information on how to improve the quality of life of your veterinarians and assistants and avoid burnout, don’t miss the following articles:
Campustraining. Qué valoran los trabajadores de su empresa. https://www.campustraining.es/noticias/que-valoran-trabajadores-empresa/
Clise, M.H., Matthew, S.M. and McArthur, M.L. (2021), Sources of pleasure in veterinary work: A qualitative study. Veterinary Record, 188
Animal’s Health. ¿Qué hace que los veterinarios se sientan bien en el trabajo? https://www.animalshealth.es/profesionales/que-hace-veterinarios-sientan-bien-trabajo