By Jim Miller
What motivates employees? In short, it’s you…but are you motivated? Do you have a strong purpose for what your practice produces and where you want to take it? Do you communicate and exemplify that purpose to your staff every day?
Start from Within
Motivation has to start from within before it can extend outward. One of the biggest complaints that’s heard from employees is, “I don’t know what my doctor wants,” or “he or she doesn’t communicate with us.” One way to combat this is to hand out staff surveys. Motivating people is much easier when you know what they really want from you. The management style may actually be the real problem.
If you think they only want a raise or more time off, you might be surprised to learn that “appreciation and recognition” or “involvement in decision making” is more important to them. Of 2,000 workers surveyed in a Gallup Poll, 69 percent said praise and recognition from their bosses was more important than money. Four out of five said recognition or praise motivates them to do a better job. Motivated employees do their best. They take responsibility, improve performance, make better decisions, take action, work hard to get things done, boost profit, and generally make the work environment a more pleasant place to be.
Unmotivated employees come to work, go through the motions, collect their paycheck, and when all is said and done, have produced very little. Some business owners and managers make excuses for unmotivated employees by saying, “The work is boring,” “My people are incompetent,” or “You just can’t find good employees.”
Good vs. Great
Good bosses have employees who stay, and the employees are loyal to them. In fact, many employees will turn down higher paid jobs or positions just to stay with a great employer. As a manager, it’s your job to set the mood. You establish the tone, motivate the group, and inspire responsibility. Under good management, most willing employees perform well. But under great management they perform with enthusiasm. If your staff is not staying with you, or not stimulated by their work, the first thing you must change is your own management style.
Ways to Change or Improve your Management Approach:
- Communication. Increase the amount of communication between you and your staff by leading and conducting weekly staff meetings. In these meetings, promote your goals, purposes, and plans. Keep your meetings upbeat and talk about the big picture.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Treat your staff fairly with trust and respect. If you don’t respect them; they won’t respect you. When correcting staff performance, balance your criticism with praise and they will likely be more receptive.
- Positivity. Remove any anti-social or negative-type employees, as well as those who spread rumors and those that overtly or covertly oppose you, your plans, or your purposes.
Motivation starts from within. By utilizing these three tips and implementing a better management approach, your motivation will surely extend outward to your employees — and those employees will stay and be loyal to you.
Jim Miller has been consulting the healthcare professionals for the past 28 years. He has personally consulted over 2,000 clinics throughout the United States and Canada.
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