Your pet care business is likely doing well due to the surge in pet adoptions during the pandemic. Approximately one in five American households have adopted a dog or cat since the pandemic’s beginning. Children were at home, and many people worked remotely.
Now, children are back in school, adults are back in offices, and someone needs to take care of their pets. This is good news for your pet care business, but along with a robust job market is a trend called quiet quitting. The combination of plentiful jobs and a growing tendency for employees to seek a better work-life balance can wreak havoc on your ability to hire and retain good workers. We will examine ways you can combat quiet quitting and keep your employees happy and engaged.
Quiet quitting is a term that describes an employee who does the bare minimum to keep their job. They don’t quit, but they do just enough so they don’t get fired. In any industry or job, there have always been people who underperform, but the pandemic shifted many employees’ perceptions about what is important. Research shows that about 26 percent of employees are doing the bare minimum. Let’s look at how to recognize quiet quitting in your pet care business:
Excellence should be your goal, regardless of your business, and pet care is no different. You aren’t producing a product but you’re providing compassionate and personal service to families and their pets. Committed staff is necessary for a successful and profitable business. If quiet quitting is an issue in your pet care business, it is hurting you in numerous ways.
Sadly, a love of animals is not enough to realistically sustain most employees’ interests. Many pet care businesses don’t have a way for employees to advance. Recognizing this limitation will help you find other incentives. Here are some ways to keep your employees engaged and motivated:
Awareness of quiet quitting behavior is the first step to preventing it. Sometimes quiet quitting is a consequence, not of dissatisfaction with the job, but personal issues. Get to know your employees without being intrusive but by conveying concern. A personal touch can make a huge difference in a person’s job satisfaction.
Although you may not require certification for your employees, offer to pay for pet care industry certifications. If certification is not something you can afford, you can still provide in-house training that helps people do their jobs better and keeps them interested.
Scheduling in the pet care business can be complicated. People want their animals walked and cared for according to their schedule, not yours. Finding a way to offer your employees flexible schedules will allow them time to attend to other interests and outside responsibilities.
A collaborative work environment is stimulating but can be more challenging for you. It is far easier to make decisions on your own, but doing so doesn’t take advantage of your employees’ expertise and can also make them feel excluded. Listen to your employees’ feedback and concerns and invite them to solve problems.
Token recognition may no longer be enough in this current work environment. Most employees expect benefits and paid time off, but if you are unable to afford a comprehensive benefits package, try to find other ways to reward employees. Gift certificates and bonuses are a couple of ideas.
If you want an employee to handle something differently, let them know but try not to be punitive. A pet care business entails dealing with varying personalities and expectations. Flexibility is a must; not everyone will know how to manage the competing needs of many clients. Teach your employees strategies for coping with demanding customers and their animals. Invite your employees to discuss any problems they have with clients or their animals. In other words, have an open-door policy.
It is easy to blame employees when things go wrong, but as a pet care business owner or manager, the responsibility is yours. You and your employees’ love of animals is the foundation of the care you provide, but attending to the well-being of your employees is also critical to your success. Don’t let quiet quitting undermine everything you have worked so hard to achieve.