What is an EAP and should I get one for my veterinary team?

by easyDVM

An employee assistance program (EAP) provides support for veterinary employees who are experiencing problems that affect their physical and mental health. Having an EAP can mean that your employees are happier and healthier than they would be without support, which leads to better job performance. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of an EAP and explore your options for setting one up in your veterinary practice.

EAPs provide mental health counseling

One of the main forms of support provided by an EAP is mental health counseling. The EAP we use, which is provided by ESI Group, allows employees to benefit from one-on-one phone or face-to-face sessions with a counselor who has at least a master’s or PhD. The network includes more than 40,000 providers, which means that most employees can find a counselor close to their home or workplace. The ESI Group program also makes other resources available, including an online wellness center that can help employees manage their own mental health.

What problems can an EAP help with?

An EAP can help employees with a range of personal problems that affect their physical and mental well-being. Veterinary employees often struggle with stress and anxiety, which counselors are trained to help them overcome. Counselors can also help employees overcome the loss of a loved one, problems with substance abuse or eating disorders, workplace difficulties, depression and relationship issues. The EAP can also provide help with personal, financial and legal issues; for example, counselors can provide advice about personal debt restructuring and management.

Information resource benefits of an EAP

The benefits of an EAP are not limited to one-to-one counseling sessions for employees with urgent needs. An EAP provides additional resources to help employees manage their health, finances and personal lives. For example, employees can access discounts on nutrition, fitness and weight loss services, as well as valuable information about managing financial issues. There are even online training resources to help employees with their personal growth.

How to use an EAP

When you have an employee who requires support, all you need to do is call your EAP provider. You can call TotalCare EAP toll free at any time of the day or night, seven days a week. The service provider will find the right counselor to help your employee work through their problems. You can relax, knowing that your employees are getting the support they need. You can also direct your employees to information resources that can help them overcome legal, financial, lifestyle and personal issues that they are currently struggling to manage.

How much does an EAP cost?

For our employee assistance program provided by ESI Group, we pay a capped amount for up to 50 employees per year. This covers employees for support including counseling, wellness benefits and personal development benefits. The cost of the program is a great investment in your business, as a good EAP can help employees to work through their mental health issues or personal problems and return to work feeling stronger and more capable. When all your employees are able to perform at their best, your veterinary practice can provide better care to customers and therefore grow as a successful business. Every veterinary practice should consider getting an EAP to support their employees.

EasyDVM Practice Software is a cloud-based veterinary practice management software system. We pride ourselves in offering a system that is user-friendly, easy to learn for new team members, full-featured and elegant in its simplicity. Best of all, all devices, multiple users, all your clients and patients, always affordable.

Top 5 Places to Find Veterinary Employees

by easyDVM

Attracting and retaining quality veterinary employees is a challenging task. You face a very tight job market in the US, along with a career path that has higher levels of stress than other positions. Your recruitment processes for new veterinary employees should involve multiple places to find new people who can fit in at your practice.

1. General Purpose Job Sites

Websites such as Indeed, CareerBuilder and Monster serve a general job-seeking audience. You can use these resources to get a lot of exposure for your listing. While some of the people visiting these websites are animal care professionals, you do end up with a lot of awareness and reach. These jobs also get aggregated onto other sites, so you end up spreading it beyond these large-scale websites.

2. Niche Job Websites

Complement your general purpose job site listings by putting career opportunities on niche sites and groups, too. For example, AVMA, iHireVeterinary and The Vet Recruiter are specialized resources that give you access to a smaller, more focused user base. You won’t get as many responses through these sites, but the ones that you do are likely to be high-quality candidates.

3. Animal Shelter Volunteers

People who are heavily involved as animal shelter volunteers have a love of animals and a lot of practical experience that you can leverage in a veterinary practice setting. They may have previous animal care experience or be interested in starting careers in this field. Partner with local shelters, rescues and similar organizations to build a long-term talent pipeline. If you have spare time, you may want to volunteer at a shelter to network with the front-line employees and volunteers who help with the animals’ medical needs.

4. Local Businesses

Have you encountered workers at local businesses who impress you with their skills? You may want to start networking to see whether you can bring in quality candidates that you have already interacted with in professional settings. Make sure to maintain good relationships with the local businesses and avoid blatantly poaching their employees, however.

Pet stores, boarding facilities and grooming services are three great options for finding potential employees. They may have limited advancement options or access to continued education opportunities. A career at your veterinary clinic could fulfill their dreams and long-term plans.

5. Community Outreach

Does your veterinary practice stay involved with the local community? Employer branding is an excellent way to establish your clinic as a quality place to work. When you have community outreach initiatives, such as low-cost spay and neuter services and vaccine clinics, you grow the network of people supporting your animal care efforts. Your next star employee can come through word-of-mouth recommendations provided by community members.

An offshoot to this idea is to post signs in your waiting room that advertise the open positions that you want to fill. Your patients’ parents may be job hunting or have someone in their social network who are. Local publications also give you an opportunity to communicate your job openings. You probably have some of these magazines and newspapers in your waiting room, already.

It’s not easy finding the right people to add to your vet practice. When you use these channels to bring in applicants and seek out candidates, you can keep your job roles filled and your upcoming pipeline healthy.

EasyDVM Practice Software is a cloud-based veterinary practice management software system. We pride ourselves in offering a system that is user-friendly, easy to learn for new team members, full-featured and elegant in its simplicity. Best of all, all devices, multiple users, all your clients and patients, always affordable.