Painting a Picture of a Positive Workplace: Attributes of a Wellbeing-Centric Practice

Everyone wishes to work in a space where mental health, general wellbeing, and a positive attitude are prioritized on a daily basis. The AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report: U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience reported that 68% of veterinarians rated their workplace as positive or very positive, leaving nearly a third of veterinarians rating their workplace as neutral or negative. In order to support a staff and business that promotes these healthy attitudes, every staff member needs to contribute to its success, starting with the employer. We have compiled some aspects of healthy, supportive practices as reported by veterinarians in the survey.

Support your staff’s boundaries.

Allowing your staff to communicate their needs and boundaries is a sign that you are nurturing a supportive work environment. Encourage your team to set boundaries that protect their time, work-life balance, and wellbeing to keep staff feeling energized, valued, and heard. Honor PTO hours that are earned, sick days, or other time away from work. Associates who considered their workplace environment to be negative consistently shared they felt guilty when they took the time they were entitled to.


Encourage open communication.

Whether it’s communicating PTO needs, seeking out coverage, or even turning to a peer for advice, your staff should feel that their team is easily accessible when it comes to communication. Do they feel they can give feedback without repercussions? If they feel a lack of support, you will need to evaluate your practice’s culture and seek out ways to correct this behavior. Offer help generously, build rapport with your team, and don’t be afraid to reach out to help your veterinarians find ways to maintain or establish a better work-life balance.


Take the pulse of your clinic’s work environment.

It’s interesting to note that 85% of surveyed owners rated their practice as a positive work environment, yet only 57% of practice associates saw it that way. Why the spread? As an owner, are you tuned in to how your practice’s work environment is truly being perceived? Are you judging the "positivity" with the same yardstick. Don't assume you know how your team perceives their workplace. You can ask the same question from the survey that they can answer anonymously: "How would you rate the overall work environment here?" Give them a five-point scale from Very Positive to Very Negative. Then you can compare your work environment ratings by practice size to the benchmarks below:

Number of Employees

Overall Work Environment Rating

Very Positive




Very Negative

Less than 10
























Many aspects go into creating and maintaining a positive work environment. Learn more about the ways veterinarians perceive a positive workplace in the AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report: U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience. Taking the pulse of your staff’s work environment, promoting that team members establish (and stick to) boundaries, and being your staff’s greatest advocate are just some of the ways to maintain a positive workplace.

The AVMA Trust 2022 Trend Report on U.S. Veterinarians’ Work-Life Experience is based on a national survey conducted in fall, 2021. N=2,553 Practicing Veterinarians. 95% confidence, ± 3% margin of error.