AVA Employer of Choice
It’s an area that Ballarat Veterinary Practice was already heavily invested in. ”We’ve always placed a very strong focus on workplace culture and staff engagement. Prior to applying for Employer of Choice accreditation, we already had a number of initiatives in place, such as our new graduate program, an 18-month equine surgical internship, an employee assistance program and a really strong focus on work-life balance. We also have a large cohort of staff trained in psychological first aid,” said BVP’s Human Resources Manager, Claire McAteer.
When the AVA announced the Employer of Choice program in 2021, Ballarat Veterinary Practice’s management team jumped at the opportunity to create a framework to review and test their efforts against the highest industry standards in a transparent environment.
“The opportunity provided by the program to reflect inwardly really validated the work that we had already been doing for a number of years, but it also challenged us to raise our own standards in some areas,” said McAteer.
The path to Employer of Choice accreditation involves a stringent external audit of a practice’s internal HR practices, policies and procedures conducted independently by the AVA HR Advisory Service.
“The process itself was actually quite rigorous, probably more than we first thought it would be, but the achievement of the accreditation and even just undertaking the journey itself has been really rewarding,” said McAteer.
Comprising five small animal clinics, a large equine hospital and an ambulatory service, BVP has been proudly serving their community for over 75 years. “We’ve grown over the years to become a team of around 150, caring for horses and companion animals,” explains BVP’s Managing Director, Paul Dempsey.
“When we think about our practice and the services we provide, we’re most proud of our team. The amazing work, dedication and skill with which they apply themselves is nothing short of extraordinary. Our team has a vast array of special interests and are a celebration of our community’s diversity.”
Ballarat Veterinary Practice believe that strong employee engagement is critical not only for supporting and retaining current staff but for attracting much-needed new employees. “We are always on the lookout for new staff, so it is our hope that becoming an Employer of Choice will get the word out that we are a progressive, healthy and supportive place to work,” said Dempsey.
Read more about the Employer of Choice program at the AVA website.