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AAHA unveils Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative

The objective is improved well-being and mental health within a veterinary practice.

AAHA unveils Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative
The veterinary profession has long been challenged by mental health issues such as depression, career burnout, compassion fatigue and suicide.

The American Animal Hospital Association, responding to the call for more mental health resources in the veterinary field, has introduced the Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative.

“The initiative will address well-being from an alternative perspective that utilizes a positive, proactive approach to help prevent or mitigate mental health issues in veterinary practice teams,” the Lakewood, Colorado, organization stated. “The initiative will also provide guidance in designing and building an optimal, customized, healthy workplace culture.”

A major part of the initiative’s launch is the 20-page “AAHA’s Guide to Veterinary Team Wellbeing,” available at http://bit.ly/2jKCw5i. Taking the lead on the guide was AAHA veterinary adviser Heather Loenser, DVM.

“This guide includes practical, easy-to-implement steps that every practice could start doing today to improve the way everyone on the team feels about themselves, their coworkers and the important work they do caring for pets and their people,” Dr. Loenser said.

Why is a healthier practice culture important? AAHA listed these reasons:

  • Increased employee satisfaction leads to decreased turnover.
  • Better engagement, processes and communication leads to increased staff productivity.
  • Inspiring team members to find more purpose in the profession they love leads to improved individual well-being.
  • Attracting and retaining top talent is easier when the practice’s reputation is elevated.

“AAHA’s long-term aspiration is to help practices develop cultures that are so good employees can find refuge from life’s challenges at work,” said CEO Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP. “AAHA has always been synonymous with excellence in veterinary care. Now we want to extend that to include excellence in workplace culture and team member well-being.”

More information about the initiative is available at http://bit.ly/2xR3nm9.