Brian Garish

Lessons From Your Covid Furry Friends: How to be Truly Human at Work with Banfield Pet Hospital President, Brian Garish

When Covid hit, several industries were hit hard, but some thrived immensely. One such industry that’s seen a huge uptick in business this past year has been the pet industry, as 11 million households got a new pet in 2020. Wow! That’s a lot of new family members. But Banfield Pet Hospital is here to help new pet owners manage all that animal energy. On this week’s episode, Erica sits down with Banfield Pet Hospital president, Brian Garish, to talk all things cats, dogs, and leadership in the (hopefully pet-friendly) Hybrid Revolution. With over 1000 hospitals and over 19,000 associates servicing all these new furry friends, how does Brian lead through it all? By talking to his people. Brian leads with empathy and knows that the key to an empowered, passionate workforce is one that feels heard and sees vulnerability modeled at the top. This conversation imagines an optimistic future of work, where we can continue giving our pets the “best year of their lives” indefinitely, through flexible work options.


4:23 – “When you think about being a leader in a company, and being part of the conversation of, ‘what’s the hybrid work force going to look like? what are the hybrid working conditions going to look like?’ It can’t be made with just an executive team, it has got to have your people’s voice involved in the conversation.”

10:16 – “Culture is my top priority and has been my top priority. The strategic direction of the company is a second priority because strategy without empathy is a wasted idea.”

10:41 – “More so now than ever, people want to be seen, they want to be heard, and they want to be understood. And we have that opportunity to do that even better.”

12:30 – “The theme of our session for the year for 2020 was ‘be empowered, be passionate, and be here.’ We wanted our associates to be empowered to truly own the hospital experience and own what they needed to do to take care of each other and take care of pets and clients. The passion is about really connecting to our purpose, which is making a better world for pets. And being here is out Banfield shows up for society. Well we were thankful that that was the theme because that really anchored us in 2020 once the pandemic really started to come in.”

17:35 – “We can’t be our best selves if we don’t take care of ourselves. Our hospitals and all of our associates need our leaders to be present and to be fully available. And you’re not going to be if you’re burned out.”


Banfield website