Set clear expectations: It’s crucial to set clear expectations for your staff. They need to know what is expected of them, what their duties are, what standards they need to meet, and why. This is where having expectations printed out and hanging up for your staff in your facility is a good idea. Make sure you communicate these expectations clearly and frequently, and provide feedback and support to help your staff meet them on a regular basis.
Create a positive work environment: A positive work environment is essential for staff to feel motivated and inspired. You can create a positive work environment by promoting open communication, recognizing and rewarding good work, and fostering a team-oriented culture. Always saying thank you is extremely important. Encourage your team to utilize a whiteboard in the break room or an intercompany messaging tool or app for employees to give a shoutout to recognize a helpful coworker or praise for how well someone handled a situation at work.
Provide ongoing training: Ongoing training is essential for staff to feel confident and competent in their roles. Provide regular training sessions to help staff develop their skills on site, learn about new techniques, and stay up-to-date with best practices in dog care and boarding. Per OSHA, you must have at least one safety training per year and you must have it documented. I recommend a quarterly staff meeting and include safety training within that meeting.
Encourage creativity and innovation: Encourage your staff to share their ideas and suggestions. The best way to do that is to ask. If you put a suggestion box out for employees, they’re going to say “pay me more money, give me more PTO, I want more of this or that,” but what you’re looking to do is engage them in solving problems in the facility. If you have a group messenger app or some way to communicate with everyone, send a message asking for ideas or put a piece of paper in the room with the time clock that says “hey, we’ve been with THIS, what are your ideas to solve this problem?” You just have to ask. Remember that most people have spent their whole life being told what to do and how to do it. Encouraging creativity and innovation from your staff can inspire them to think outside the box and come up with fresh ideas for improving your business. Encourage your staff to share their ideas and suggestions, and as the owner or manager, keep your mind open to trying new things.
Offer incentives and rewards: Incentives and rewards can motivate staff to work harder and achieve better results. Consider offering incentives such as bonuses, gifts, or treats. Buy everyone a water bottle, get a water cooler, and stock up on water flavor packets for the break room. Make sure to recognize and reward staff for exceptional performance.
Foster a love of dogs: Finally, it’s essential to foster a love of dogs in your staff. Remind them of the importance of the work they do and the positive impact they have on the dogs in your facility. Encourage staff to get to know the dogs’ individual personalities and needs.
By following these tips, you can inspire your staff to be at their best, and create a work environment that is positive, productive, and fulfilling for everyone involved. Remember, happy staff equals happy dogs, and happy dogs equal happy clients!