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Why we don’t thank our team enough?

Looking a little nervous- Go Karting with City Road Vets July 2013

It’s not because they don’t deserve it. Of course they do. Our nurses are either training  to become or have become registered, qualified veterinary nurses. This involves a 2-3 year intensive on the job and day release learning process as well as extra curricular study using their spare time. Our receptionists also undertake further continuing education in order to learn new skills to enhance the client experience at our practice.

I think our support staff are awesome.Take our nurses. Does anyone realise the scope of the job they perform? In addition to general nursing duties, they are kennel maids, dental technicians, anaesthetists, phlebotomists, radiographers, receptionists and many more. They work extra hours at the drop of a hat e.g if an emergency case comes in just before closing time, work weekends, nights and bank holidays, they don’t get paid the wage they deserve, and their work is often thankless.

Our receptionists are brilliant. They are at the frontline and are required to set the tone for the practice. It can be an incredibly stressful job when it’s busy, trying to juggle answering a ringing telephone which may be an emergency case with a queue of people waiting to check in or settle their bill. In addition, their job entails completion of insurance forms, sending out booster reminders and accounts, dealing with IT problems and again many more.

Both of these jobs I know that I myself could never do. It takes a very special person to be either a nurse or a receptionist. Yet I don’t thank my team enough!

I also ought to say that before joining City Road veterinary centre, I worked in many practices which varied in size from 4 employees to 50 plus. This is the best working environment I have encountered. Everyone gets on so well. That’s not to say that there isn’t the occasional minor ruckus. Of course there is, but thankfully these are few and far between.

I believe that we have developed a culture of not thanking our staff. This is not just a City Road thing , but something that has developed within the British workplace. Staff may think but never inform us that we don’t thank them enough. I can imagine the response of some employers if they did ask- “What do you mean you wished to be thanked? You’ve got a job and should be grateful for that especially in these hard economic times. You should be thanking me!” The truth is I don’t think we are comfortable with saying “Thank you” and because of that on the few occasions we have orally thanked staff, I get the feeling that they’ve felt a little uncomfortable.

Of course there are other ways in which to thank staff. If the practice does well on a monthly basis, then there can be extra financial remuneration, we have a summer day out followed by a meal (this year we invited the team and their partners to take part in Go Karting) and just recently we had our Christmas bash at the Alverton Manor. If we feel that one of our team has gone the extra mile, then in the past we have distributed beauty salon vouchers, and the passing of important exams often leads to celebratory flowers and champagne.


Alverton Manor Christmas do 2013

However, it is not the same as vocalising it. Myself and the other partners at City Road may not say it enough. But to all the nurses and receptionists who work incredibly hard in a very demanding  and in a not exceptionally well paid job : We do appreciate you. Thank you so much for the work you do for us, our clients and their pets.

Until next time …