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From the VetPartners Experts: Reward, Retain, and Motivate Your Employees

Jan 23, 2019 at 11:11 am
Paul Criscione

graduate chained to her student loan debt

It’s a fact that today’s generation of new veterinarians are saddled with debt, stress, and anxiety. Coping with the pressure of unsurmountable debt, it seems fruitless to even try moving forward with major life steps, such as buying a home or starting a family.

Without the reasonable ability to pay back their student loans, personal goals suffer, life expectations fall short, and compassion fatigue and depression set in, leading to possible workplace conflict.

For the practice owner, this makes a difficult situation even more frustrating. Often, the success or failure of your business depends on the sense of satisfaction and well-being of your employees. High employee morale increases productivity and reduces turnover, complaints, absenteeism, work errors, and workplace harassment.

How to bring veterinary practice owners and staff together

Offering attractive employee benefits can help bring employees and practice owners together. Generous 401k or executive bonus plans can help employees see the light at the end of the student debt tunnel while providing an incentive and motivation for superior performance.

There are many ways to offer bonus plans—simple and complicated—however, what’s most important is that they offer a strategy for money management, recognition, retention, and growth.

The process of designing a plan begins by choosing between a “qualified” plan, such as a 401(k), profit-sharing, or pension plan, or a “non-qualified” plan, such as an executive bonus or deferred-compensation plan. Retirement consultants and independent financial planners can help you determine which type of plan to investigate based on your objectives. Here are some questions to think about before speaking to a plan specialist:

  • Do I need help competing with corporate-owned or local veterinarians in attracting and retaining non-shareholding employees?
  • Do I want to provide benefits for myself as well as my key employees?
  • Am I paying too much income tax and want to offset my income while saving for retirement?
  • Do I want a plan that is flexible, tied to profits, and provides an incentive to increase productivity?
  • Do I want to provide an incentive to key employees only, under terms or conditions that differ from other employees?
  • Is there a large disparity of ages in my practice? Can a plan benefit older employees more than others?

As a veterinary practice owner, you can reward, retain, and motivate your team in a way that helps them financially and actually improves your bottom line in the long run.

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Paul Criscione
Paul Criscione, CFP, is senior vice president of Freedom Capital Management (FCM), an independent investment advisory firm located in Colts Neck, New Jersey, since 2008. Supported by a network of premier partners, such as Royal Alliance and Pershin LLC, FCM designs strategies that bring strength, stability, and security to clients with one goal in mind: their success. As senior vice president and a certified financial planner, Paul coaches clients through complex financial decisions. Using a comprehensive and collaborative approach, he translates confusing jargon and fine print into clear, manageable steps, enabling clients to quantify decisions over the long-term. He collaborates with like-minded professionals that specialize in areas such as retirement income planning, business valuations, structured sales, wealth transfer, and tax and legacy planning in order to create a dynamic, integrated financial plan that is designed to work for the client throughout his or her lifetime. As a longtime resident of Holmdel, New Jersey, Paul enjoys playing golf and traveling with his wife, Dr. Regina Criscione. Together, they serve their community by volunteering at Pet Adoption Network, a nonprofit organization focused on saving animals from kill shelters.
Paul Criscione

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