AAHA Initiative Enters New Partnership to Build Healthier Practices

Veterinary practices participating in the AAHA Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative will now have access to a revolutionary program that measures and builds employee engagement.
Kerry Lengyel
Published: April 12, 2018
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) launched its Healthy Workplace Culture Initiative in September to address the mental health issues of depression, burnout, compassion fatigue and suicide in the veterinary profession. The inaugural piece of the program was the association’s Guide to Veterinary Team Wellbeing, a resource designed to support individual wellbeing in the veterinary practice. AAHA also hosted a roundtable discussion on the link between healthy workplace culture and optimal personal wellbeing.

“We all live complicated lives and we all spend a great deal of time at work,” said AAHA CEO Michael Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP (Emeritus). “Wouldn’t it be nice if work could become a refuge from our crazy lives and lift us up rather than drive us down?”

For the next phase of the initiative, AAHA announced a partnership with management consulting firm The Coffman Organization (TCO) to “build stronger, healthier workplaces within the veterinary profession.”

According to AAHA, the benefits of a healthier practice culture include:
  • Decreased employee turnover
  • Increased staff productivity
  • Improved individual wellbeing
  • Elevated reputation of the practice

AAHA chose to work with TCO because of its revolutionary approach to measuring and building employee engagement with what they call the NEXUS Experience — a program that provides managers with the data they need to improve workplace culture. The cornerstone of the NEXUS Experience is a team survey on engagement that uses each respondent’s input to identify key areas of a workplace that will enable effective growth.

“Animal health providers are driven by a heartfelt purpose and having a culture that is built around the wellbeing of people (patients and associates) takes both efficiency and business success to a new level,” Curt Coffman, TCO founding partner and chief science officer, said.

In addition to the NEXUS program, TCO will provide program participants with access to educational articles, training and videos focused on strengthening the veterinary profession’s organizational culture.

“Both AAHA and TCO are committed to bringing meaningful and lasting improvement to veterinary workplace culture and enhancing the overall wellbeing of veterinary healthcare providers,” AAHA said in a press release.

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