Importance of Identifying Weaknesses in Your Shelter

July 29, 2013

When running an animal shelter it is often tempting to keep your focus on the care and treatment of the animals. However owners of the shelters should be aware of weaknesses within the organization that can affect their day to day running and effectiveness.

Weaknesses in the processes at your animal shelter can lead to ineffective care to the animals. It is hard to see problems from the inside but visitors will easily see them and any apparent fault seen may affect the amount patrons donate or animal adoption rates. Without this support from the public; the care for the animals in your care will suffer.

You should conduct reviews on a regular basis to spot areas in need of improvement. Reviews are the best method to identify weaknesses in your processes. You may feel that managers are best suited for this role, but staff can play an important part too. It is the staff and volunteers who are regularly following the process and so pick up on problems that managers might not realize are present. If both management and staff compile their lists of weaknesses, you may find common issues which should become the key areas to improve.

It is best practice that reviews are completed on a regular basis. If they are done too infrequently; then problems may arise that could have been avoided. However animal shelters should be careful not to do them too often as this can hinder the running of the organization. A recommended time period between reviews is about three months.

Owners are also encouraged to carry out staff and volunteer performance reviews. This will aid in recognizing unfamiliarity with processes or skill sets that are incomplete. Once these areas have been identified, your staff can be given extra training improving their abilities. Training has also been proven to improve moral which can boost performance at an animal shelter.

Once areas needing improvement have been acknowledged you can formulate a step by step action plan to tackle each one. Keep each step simple and specific so it is easy to follow and implement. Inform your staff to make sure that they know what they have to do.

You will notice that as soon as improvements are implemented, the care you provide for the animals will be better. Thus keeping your high standard of care image to visitors; gaining their continued support.

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