Just one thing: Benchmarking your team’s turnover rate

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Just one thing: Practical tips for veterinary practices

Skilled and experienced team members are among a veterinary practice’s greatest assets—be they veterinarians, veterinary technicians, or veterinary assistants. When they leave, the loss isn’t just emotional. It’s also financial—in the form of lost revenue, and time expended in recruiting and training a replacement

That’s what makes staff retention so important. 

Here’s a quick way to start

A first step to optimizing retention is knowing your practice’s turnover rate and how it compares against industry benchmarks. This can be tackled in 15 minutes or less by taking the following steps:

  1. Count the number of team members who have left your practice in the past 12 months.
  2. Identify your practice’s average total number of employees. To do this, you can add the number of employees you had at the beginning of the year to the number you had at the end, and divide the total by 2.
  3. Divide the number of employees who left the practice by your average number of employees to get your annual turnover rate.

Now that you have your turnover rate, you can benchmark it against those for similar practices to see how you compare. This chart shows average turnover rates in 2022 for different practice types, based on responses to the AVMA’s annual Veterinary Practice Owners Survey. As it shows, turnover was lowest (7.1%) for food animal exclusive practices and highest (19.4%) in companion animal exclusive practices. 

Average veterinary team turnover rate by practice type, 2022

Every practice is different, and there may be reasons why one’s turnover is higher or lower than the industry average. The comparison, though, can still provide important information as a first step toward analyzing—and minimizing—your team’s turnover.

Next steps

Looking for more data on veterinary team turnover? Read more about turnover rates and find additional benchmarking averages in this article about one of the CE sessions presented by AVMA economists at the 2023 AVMA Veterinary Business and Economic Forum: Increasing efficiency, salaries can help practices retain employees.

For more strategies to help you retain team members, check out these additional resources:



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