Cultivating an Inclusive Culture at Your Veterinary Hospital

You make your hospital a welcoming space for patients everyday. Now, you can do the same for clients & employees.

Creating a more inclusive workplace can have a great impact on hospital productivity, team satisfaction and client engagement. By making your hospital a welcoming space for employees and clients of all backgrounds, you’ll have an easier time recruiting and retaining talent, which is key to a successful business. Fostering an inclusive culture doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive. In fact, most of the time, it will cost nothing at all to ensure everyone feels a sense of belonging in your clinic. 

If you are wondering how you can begin to make a conscious effort to cultivate a more inclusive workplace culture, there are a few easy ways to start. 

Foster Open Dialogue  

Encourage open and respectful communication among employees. Create channels for employees to express their ideas, concerns, and suggestions. 

Promote Diverse Hiring Practices 

Review your hiring processes to ensure they are fair and unbiased. Consider implementing blind resume reviews and phone screens. 

Create Employee Resource Groups 

Employee resource groups can focus on various dimensions of diversity, such as gender, race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, and disabilities. They’re great for providing a sense of community and can meet as frequently or infrequently as members would like. 

Make Accommodations for Disabilities 

Ensure that you do everything you can to make your hospital accessible for clients with mobility-related disabilities. Likewise, ensure your staff is prepared to assist clients with all disabilities to the best of their ability. Eliminating physical and barriers, keeping aisles free of clutter and designating a handicapped parking spot are a few of the ways you can create a more welcoming space. 

Expand Your Holiday Calendar 

Even if you can’t afford to give every employee the day off for the religious holidays of minority groups, you can still acknowledge them and make special accommodations for employees that celebrate them. 

Lead by Example 

Leaders and managers model inclusive behaviors and hold themselves accountable for fostering an inclusive environment. 

Prioritize Education  

Provide equal access to professional development opportunities, such as training programs, workshops, and conferences. There are free resources online if you don’t have the funds for paid CE, as well. These include AVMA’s Journey for Teams program, which releases a new learning module each month to help Veterinary teams explore DEI topics. 

There are various ways that you can begin fostering an inclusive culture, but keep in mind that these efforts take time. Even if you begin by implementing one suggestion at a time, you are still taking critical steps toward building a stronger team and investing in your hospital’s success.  

If you’re looking to join a network that values Team Members and clients of all backgrounds, start the conversation to learn more about our benefits and the steps we’re taking to increase DEIB awareness across our network.