A happy and motivated staff is key for any successful medical practice. Similar to multinational corporations that give deliberate importance to human resources, ensuring staff welfare & job satisfaction has now become a norm even in the medical industry. Motivation in the right direction helps you get better output from your staff which and forms the cornerstone to your practice and patient management.
A happy staff reflects a positive environment which makes your patients comfortable. Positive reinforcement helps your staff to perform to their optimum and maintain a healthy working environment where new ideas and thoughts will be exchanged and appreciated.
But it takes more than just a pay check to motivate your employees. Rather, the practice owner himself needs to be motivated to provide career development opportunities, appraisals and periodic performance evaluation to his staff. Any practice owner needs to understand employees and the hierarchy of their needs. Starting with an adequate salary commensurate with job description, self-motivated staff members need a positive and fear-free environment, complemented by regular appreciation and recognition of their hard work. Maintaining good communication skills helps to keep the boss and employee relationship mutually productive.
Here are 6 simple steps to help you motivate a diverse set of staff:
1. Good appraisals and bonuses
Apart from a competitive salary, in the present times of rising financial burdens, good rewards and bonuses are always welcome. Annual rewards or bonuses are important to show your staff that you recognize and approve of their efforts and hard work. Bonuses keep your staff encouraged to help you out beyond their job description. They also help maintain a stress-free environment even when you are not around.
2. Career opportunities and growth
Apart from appraisals it is equally important to understand your staff’s potential and give them equal opportunities to grow. Regular evaluation of performance along with increase in role of work helps keep your employees have a sense of fulfillment and greater job satisfaction.
3. Weekly offs and flexible working hours
It is vital for your employee’s physical as well as mental well being to have weekly offs as it gives them time to manage their personal errands. Some time off from the routine schedule helps recharge and come back to work with a fresh mind. Weekly offs are important for a better productivity and a cheerful working atmosphere, and a monotonous schedule leads to drop in work efficiency.
4. Suggestion box and feedback from patients
It is important to give your staff both positive and negative feedback regarding their work, to ensure growth. Feedback from patients plays a vital role in not just retaining your patients but also in getting great feedback on your staff.
5. An annual party
An annual party or picnic would be a great way for your staff to socialize outside the clinical set up. This activity could also include their families and is a nice way to de-stress and make your relationship with your staff a bit more than just professional.
6. Healthy communication
It is important to not only understand the needs and requirements of your staff, but to regularly discuss and talk with them. Discuss new ideas & thoughts and share your vision for the practice. It is equally important to hear their viewpoint, suggestions and ideas for a better practice, and this will lead to your employees developing a sense of trust and inclusiveness. Empower your employees and give them some freedom of decision making; this shows that you respect them and consider them able for bigger tasks.
An often missed out but key reason for a successful medical practice is a self-motivated and happy bunch of co-workers. Keep your staff smiling and watch your patients leave with a smile as well!
- Skemp-Arlt,K.M, Toupence,R. The administrator’s role in employee motivation. Coach & Athletic Director. 2007; pp. 28–34.
- Fair III, E.M., Silvestri, L. Effects of rewards, competition and outcome on intrinsic motivation. Journal of Instructional Psychology. 1992.pp. 3–9.
- Stroh,K.S. Flexible schedules make powerful perks. Flextime: Myth or Reality?. 2007;pp. 12–14.
- Levine, D.I. Participation, productivity, and the firm’s environment. California Management Review. 1990;32 (4): 86–100.