There are so many tools we can give our employees, staff, team members at the work place; but one of the top tools you can give is “education”. Giving your staff the opportunities to learn and shine at what they do can create confidence and a sense of ownership in what they do every day. This in turn will create a strong team member who is knowledgeable and passionate about your business. So how does Eden Memorial Pet Care educate our staff and how does that relate to you when dealing with a caring pet crematory?
To Educate or Not To Education
Believe it or not but there are many pet aftercare companies out there who not only never attend educational seminars but never properly educate their staff. In the pet care industry, especially in the pet cremation and pet cemetery side of business, it’s not even a requirement! Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Pet Grief Counselors all need education and/or certifications to work at their trade but aftercare professionals are usually self-taught. It’s only the companies who choose to be associated with governing associations and seek out accreditation and education for themselves and their staff.
Pet Aftercare Associations?
Associations like International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Cremtories (IAOPCC), Cremation Association of North America (CANA), International Cemetery Cremation Funeral Association (ICCFA) and Pet Loss Professional Alliance (PLPA) are all extremely vital in today’s Pet Aftercare Industry. These are all associations each and every pet crematory and cemetery have the opportunity to be apart of…the sad and scary thing is…many don’t. There are some companies, who do choose to pay their dues, but then never attend meetings or take part in the education and business relationships it can provide. Good news! Eden Memorial Pet Care is affiliated with all the named associations above. In fact, Eden Memorial is the first and only IAOPCC Accredited Pet Crematory in the State of California!! Let me say that again….the only accredited pet crematory in California.
In order to get this accreditation, Eden Memorial went through an extensive audit and interview of all processes and procedures. There is a Code of Ethics that we not only abide by as our own business protocol but are held accountable also by the IAOPCC, PLPA and ICCFA. We are also audited every 5 years to make sure we are upholding our ethics and professional practices.
The wonderful thing about being apart of these associations is also the education it provides. I personally as an owner have met various people from all over the world and have personally visited their pet cemeteries and crematories to learn how their processes differ from ours. How can we be better in our pet care? What works for their business in memorial pet services? What can we offer our clients that could provide a more comforting pet care experience? I have also attended numerous educational seminars and workshops and recently received a Certificate as a Certified Pet Bereavement Counselor. Funny thing is that I have been “counseling” clients for almost 20 years…but even then I learned so much by taking this course.
So finally came the time that many of these associations are providing educational courses for employees in pet aftercare and memorial pet services. It’s not only about the owners of the business anymore but their employees. I’m proud to announce that not only do we have one Certified Pet Crematory Operator; but two! Last year, both Jennifer Camsuzou (Facility Manager) & Erika Ricketts (Head of Crematory Operations) went on the journey of education. Learning about not only operations and proper handling but also legal information and technical aspects of the crematory process; has already proven to be essential to daily operations here at Eden. We have also added another certified Pet Grief Counselor – Laurie Abshire, who has worked with Eden as far back as 2008.
Giving our team at Eden the ability to take “ownership” of their position has been a proud “Mama Bear” moment for me. I work and travel back and forth from Northern California to the Central Coast on a monthly basis. People ask me constantly, how do you do that? My response? “The great team I work with…” They were not only trained individually when they were hired, but then trained again by our crematory technicians and now with a Certification Course. There is something nice to not only hang that certification up in the office to say “we know what we are doing”, but it gives the team a sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.
Educating Our Clients
Eden Memorial has always strived to be the best. It’s something we work hard on every day and have for almost 20 years. It’s come clear to us lately with the announcement of our expanded facility and new state of the art crematory that this is what clients want for their pets…the best. Veterinarians and techs are telling us weekly how their clients are asking more questions, wanting more special services and ordering more personalized mementos when it comes to their pet’s passing. In addition, there has been an increase in clients coming to us directly after a peaceful passing at home. This includes dog cremation, cat cremation, horse cremation and everyone in between. Why not? They are our family…they deserve the best!
Our goal is to provide our clients with education as well. Ask questions and do your research when it comes to your pet’s memorial services and aftercare. Understand all processes and what is best for your family. If you aren’t getting answers you feel comfortable with…then go somewhere else. And as far as services…cremation might not be for you; but there are other options out there, i.e. “Aqua Cremation” or “Home Burial”. And that is ok…because it’s your decision. Just make sure you are getting exactly what you want for your beloved animal companion, your BFF (Best Furry Friend).
We are always here for you…until next time.
About the Author: Owner of Eden Memorial Pet Care