I’ve got ‘em, now how do I keep ‘em? The keys to retention

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: Culture – a beguiling term used so casually that it’s actual impact is often overlooked. Culture isn’t something that happens, it is created. Culture is the foundation upon which patient care, client service, financial success, and job satisfaction is built upon. Culture requires considerable thought to construct and constant effort to maintain. In this session, Ernie Ward explains why veterinary practice culture matters to him and why it should matter to all of us.

: Why culture matters, creating a culture and framework that really works and intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation. The carrot-and-stick approach to motivation worked well for typical tasks of the early 20th century – routine, unchallenging and highly controlled. For these tasks, where the process is straightforward and lateral thinking is not required, rewards can provide a small motivational boost without any harmful side effects. But jobs in the 21st century have changed dramatically. They have become more complex, more interesting and more self-directed, and this is where the carrot-and-stick approach has become unstuck. The traditional approach can result in: diminished intrinsic motivation; lower performance; less creativity; ‘Crowding out’ of good behaviour; unethical behaviour; addictions; short-term thinking. This led to the discovery of a possible ‘third drive’ for human behaviour that argues for intrinsic motivation – the joy of the task itself – that human beings have an “inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise their capabilities, to explore, and to learn”. This new theory of motivation proposes that human beings have an innate drive to be autonomous, self-determined and connected to one another, and that when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives. Practices should focus on these drives when managing their teams by creating settings which focus on our innate need to direct our own lives (autonomy), to learn and create new things (mastery), and to do better by ourselves and our world (purpose).

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