At Galaxy Vets, it is our mission to reduce burnout in the industry and it is our goal to have happy teams. We are transforming veterinary workplaces, redesigning employment standards, rethinking compensation, and redefining full-time — all to give veterinary professionals freedom and choice.
As part of this vision, we reject non-compete clauses in our employee agreements. Shockingly prevalent in our domain, such arm-twisting requirements are damaging to veterinarians, pet owners, and the industry as a whole. The reality is that there is an abundance of pets and an extreme shortage of the veterinary workforce. Candidates are becoming increasingly picky about their options. When the true competition is for the labor and not the client, veterinary practices need to focus on healthy ways to attract and retain talent.
Paul Diaz, Founder of Hire Power Consulting, who stood up for the rights of veterinary professionals and launched an initiative to ban non-compete agreements, surveyed veterinary groups across the U.S. and found only four companies that don’t require this clause. We are proud to be one of them.
Let’s detail the points we’ve unveiled above.
1. Non-competition agreements set wide geographic restrictions for veterinary professionals to practice and eventually force them to look for employment in other cities, oftentimes against their will. Such talent drain is depriving pet owners of quality specialty care, causing longer wait times, and generally creating barriers to access to care. Pet owners lose a doctor who knows their pets’ history, so they need to seek a new one and establish a new veterinary-client-patient relationship. This forced outflow of the workforce is especially negatively impacting the regions with more severe shortages of veterinary professionals.
2. Feelings of unfairness and lack of control triggered by the inability to make a career switch are tremendous contributors to burnout. Veterinary professionals are already beyond exhausted (see our Burnout and Work-Life Balance Study 2021). An employee who could be generally satisfied with the workplace, can still be dispirited by the simple realization that they have been deprived from having a choice. Employees’ motivation will further deplete leading to reduced productivity and engagement; bound by a non-compete, they will be forced to punch the clock instead of living their passion.
3. Practice leaders can become creative and find plenty of healthy ways to retain employees by simply keeping their ears open. It can create a better balance between work and life by providing more flexibility with scheduling. Reviewing and optimizing workflows to make sure people don’t overwork. Helping young parents by offering rotations between working in the practice and remote telehealth. Or giving employees more confidence in their further career development by helping them set and achieve professional goals.
Our door is always open: for like-minded individuals to join our team, or for those willing to go out and part ways with us. We want our employees to have options, to feel in control, and to find their own ideal balance between work and personal life.
We are giving veterinary professionals a choice. Because we want to be an employer of choice.
If you would like to support the initiative to ban veterinary non-competes, you are welcome to sign Paul Diaz’s petition here: https://www.change.org/p/veterinarians-end-the-veterinary-non-compete-requirement
If you are interested in a career at Galaxy Vets, please sign up here and attend one of our Future Employee Meetups to learn more.