The Importance of Togetherness: Findings from Our VMX 2022 Survey

5 min read
FYI: This article is part of the veterinary culture manifesto — a set of guiding principles to create better culture in vet med.
Read & sign the veterinary culture manifesto here.

Hound debuted at VMX ‘22 in the Startup Circle. We had a great time seeing friends from around the world, learning about all the innovations in our space, and finally shaking hands, high-fiving, and giving hugs after spending so much time on Zoom.

Several hundred people and practices signed up for hound at our booth. Woo! 🎉

We gave out a bunch of free swag, laughed with a ton of bright spirits, and played fun games for prize giveaways. We also surveyed the people of vet med to take a pulse on how they feel things are going.

We started hound because we knew the people of vet med needed a better employee experience. 

We’ve been on the front lines with you; we’ve also opened, managed, and sold hospitals; and we’ve tackled problems with thousands of independent and consolidated practices. We’ve seen cultural problems in vet med anywhere we’ve looked. 

Several comprehensive studies have provided quantitative proof validating the qualitative claims of poor culture that we’ve all experienced in this profession.

To check in on the people, we asked some veterinary clinic employees who visited our booth a simple question:

  • How do you feel about culture in vet med? (bad, needs improvement, good)

Based on the response, we asked one follow-up question:

  • If bad or needs improvement: What should be fixed to improve how you feel about culture in vet med?
  • If good: What do you love about where you work?

The responses were written on red, yellow, and green sticky notes and stuck onto our canvas to visualize the responses. What we heard from the people was unfortunate yet unsurprising.

We’ve categorized and visualized the 123 survey responses below. 

“How do you feel about culture in vet med?”

Key takeaway:

Only 11% of survey respondents said they feel the culture in vet med is good. Ouch. 🤕

“What should be fixed to improve how you feel about culture in vet med?”

From 109 of 123 people surveyed who feel culture is “bad” or “needs improvement”

Key takeaways:

  • In both the “bad” and “needs improvement” groups, togetherness was the leading factor. Compensation is a significant factor, but togetherness was listed more than twice that of compensation in each group!
  • Recognition and work/life balance were the 2nd and 3rd factors respectively in both groups.
  • Compensation was the 4th most listed factor, followed by equal responses for both leadership and staffing for a 5th place tie. 

“What do you love about where you work?”

From 14 of 123 people surveyed who feel culture “is good”

Key takeaway:

Togetherness was the leading factor for both dissatisfied employees and satisfied employees. Togetherness can make or break culture.

Compensation was a top factor for dissatisfied employees and satisfied employees.

It’s time for better team culture & pay.

We’ve got to get away from crappy team culture and crappy pay!

The good news is we have so many smart, kind people working hard to make positive changes in culture for our profession. We are very optimistic at hound that we will come together as a profession to build a better, brighter future for the people of vet med.

Hound is hard at work on our own solutions for the people. Stay tuned for these solutions from us this year to help tackle all of this for veterinary teams 😉

P.S: To the 150+ of you who made it to our VMX cocktail mixer, thanks for the togetherness. We had a great time with you. We’ll keep our signature gold card parties coming! ⭐️

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