Them: What do you do?
Me: I own a dog daycare with my husband.
Them: That’s my dream job!
A few years ago when someone would tell me that working at a dog daycare was their “dream job”, it gave me hope that searching for employees wouldn’t be difficult, however, after hearing it for a few years and knowing more, it’s the comment that has really become annoying.
Who wouldn’t want to work at a dog daycare? You get to play with dogs all day, right? Well… yes and no. Yes, there are lots of dogs, you’re encouraged to play with them and at the very least, engage with them. There’s more to the job though, there is a lot of cleaning. You clean up a lot of pee and a lot of poop and sometimes some other gross things while here. There’s also a level of stress that can come - some days the dogs are very vocal and even the most laid-back person can reach the point where they just don’t want to hear it anymore.
Things like this have always contributed to staff turnover. Other factors in staff leaving are career advancement (we like that one), dissatisfaction over the job (what they envisioned vs. the reality of a dog daycare job), personality conflicts (these are frustrating and we try to avoid them), and, of course, the occasional involuntary exit (luckily we don’t have too many of these). Staff turnover can be expensive and in 2021 it’s extra frustrating as our country is in the midst of staffing shortages.
We pay competitively matching the industry standard and we’re located in a city with a minimum wage higher than the national average, we try to create a good environment for our employees, and we strive to always do better. Why am I sharing this? Staff turnover can cause setbacks with the business including issues with customer service and a lack of consistency in messaging and communication that can be rough.
It’s scary to say this and I’m knocking wood as I’m typing this, but we seem to be on a better path than we were a few months ago. Our management team has evolved again and will continue to strive to provide consistency and to build a strong team to ensure we can keep providing the best customer service and care for your dogs.
I’m hoping someday when someone says to me “that’s my dream job”, I’ll be excited to talk to them about working with us!