Wellness Check-ins for Veterinary Practices

A wellness check-in is a brief, engaging and interactive team “huddle” that enables you to communicate and prioritize wellness in your work space.

Why dedicate the time?

Your entire work team needs to be appreciated, valued, and heard. Wellness check-ins are intended to focus on the mental and physical well-being of the entire team, providing a venue for all team members to share, listen, and support each other.  Regularly scheduled wellness check-ins demonstrate that you value your team members’ well-being and are committed to provide a forum for healthy communication.

Stick to a schedule

Schedule dates and times for regular wellness check-ins, and stick to the schedule. Don’t cancel or postpone your check-ins; make them a priority. Check-ins should last no longer than 20 minutes, can be as infrequent as twice a month, and should be led by your practice’s wellness champion.

Be sure not to schedule your check-ins over lunch periods or break periods; it’s important to show respect for your team’s need for personal breaks. 

How to communicate

Communication is key to imparting a wellness culture in your practice. Successful communication is frequent, varied in content, tailored to your audience, and involves two-way conversations. Set agreed-upon ground rules to facilitate productive check-ins. But be creative! The objective is dialogue, not one-way speech. Keep in mind the diversity, personalities, and strengths of your team. 

Starting the check-in

Consider beginning each check-in with an effort to establish a positive frame of mind in your team. Ask each team member, or one or a few volunteers, to share a positive experience since the last check-in or something positive about the team or other team members. Or start with breathing exercises or a short meditation. Some may choose to do the check-in as a ‘walking meeting,’ to allow team members to get some physical activity and stimulation. 

Questions to stimulate dialogue about wellness within your veterinary workplace

  • ​What do you think of when you think of stress? 

  • What causes the most stress at work? At home?

  • What can we control? What can we not control? 

  • What helps you cope with stress?  

  • What went well at work in the last 2 weeks? What didn’t go well? 

  • How can we set each other up for success?

  • What can we do as a team to support each other?

  • How do you contribute to a positive and productive workplace? 

  • Who on your team adds value to your work life? How did they add value?

  • When did you have the most fun at work during the past six months? How can we make sure we have more of these moments?

  • When do you feel your job is making a difference? 

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