How do you Motivate Employees

Published: 15th April 2010
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How do you motivate people to do the job you need them to do? How do you get your employees excited about their job? How can you inspire them to work harder and want to produce more? Most employers would agree that the best employees are the ones that are self-motivated. Our hope when we hire someone is that they are so excited about getting the job that they naturally would be motivated to do a great job. This is probably the case most of the time, at first, but what about when they have been on the job six months, are they still as motivated like they were the first week? Probably not, are you? None of us are, but we still have to work every day, so what is the key to keep motivated to do what we need to do and to motivate others to do the same?

Employees that are motivated are loyal and dedicated to what they do. It is a fact that businesses that have motivated employees have less turnover and overall higher profits. The more motivated your staff the higher your office productivity will be. Motivating your employees then is essential to having a successful practice.

You first need to ask yourself are you a motivational employer? Do you think that motivating employees should be your responsibility? Ask yourself the following few questions.

1. Am I open in sharing essential information with my employees?

2. Do I encourage my staff to take ownership of their job and make them feel that they are part owners of the practice?

3. Do I care very much about my employees as people and want them to be successful?

4. Do I believe that it takes more than good pay to motivate employees?

5. Do I offer and support continuing education and certification for my staff to further their career in this profession?

6. Do my employees say that I inspire them to do the best job possible?

In order for your employees to be motivated about their job, they need to have you and your lead office staff (office managers or supervisors) to be motivators. If you answered yes to most of the questions above then you are on the right track to understanding what it takes to be a people motivator.

Not only does it take you the employer being a motivator, but there is a bigger question that needs to be answered, and that is to finding out what motivates your employees. This is a huge challenge for both you and your office supervisory staff. Motivation is a very personal thing and can be different for each person. What motivates one person my not motivate another. Yet there are certain things that have a wide appeal to almost everyone and one of these is recognition and rewards for work well done.

A few things to keep in mind to help get the motivational ball rolling are to ask your employees what motivates them. Understanding what motivates your employees is the key to being able to motivate them. Some people are motivated by increased responsibilities and knowledge.

Others are motivated by doing a great job and earning extra time off and to others it may be monetary rewards or moving up in the practice. Whatever it is that motivates them it is your responsibility to find out.

I have talked to doctors who will tell me that they don't understand why their staff does not get excited about what they do and want to more at work and when I ask them what have they found out that motivates the person to do this, they do not know because they have never asked. It is vital that we understand this critical area in order to be able to motivate someone.

"Employees are not adequately recognized or rewarded. Recent reports indicated that half of the surveyed workers say they received little or no credit, and almost two-thirds say management is much less likely to praise good work than to offer negative criticism when problems occur. Research findings are based on surveys of about 1.2 million employees at 52 primarily Fortune 1000 companies from 2001 to 2004." SOURCE: "Stop Demotivating Your Employees!" by David Sirota et al., Harvard Management Update (January 2006)

It is too often that employers forget that the people that work for them are people, with feelings and people that need motivation to keep producing more at their job. As an owner you benefit financially for producing more, but what about your staff? Do they feel that they are being asked to work harder and take on more tasks in the same amount of time just to put the buck in your pocket? Many times as an employer we get blinded by the issues of running the business and just expect those that work for us to step up and do more without any compensation or recognition. If you are paying your staff an hourly wage, you need to think about why they should produce more during each hour and not be compensated for it.

According to Barry Silverstein in "Collins Best Practices Motivating Employees", there are three main points to motivating employees that are essential. Failing to address even one of these three factors will negatively affect morale:

• Fair treatment in pay, benefits, and job security.

• The opportunity to achieve and take pride in one's work.

• Good relations with coworkers.

In running a practice over the past ten years I have found that I must pay those who work for us fairly according to the standard in our community for the job that is expected and the talents that the employee is bring into the practice, in order to show them that I respect who they are and what they are worth to us. We also found that we can offer benefits that do not cost us a cent, such as flexibility for an employee that needs to leave early to take a child to a ball game, attend a family function or dentist appointment, these are great motivators to everyone. We never treat any employee as if they are disposable, each person has value to the practice and they know it by the respect we show them. We try everyday to make each person feel good about what they have done at work that day, to show them why their job is important to us and to those patients that they serve so they can see the bigger picture. Training also plays a big part in motivating employees. Your employees will feel that if you take the time to spend investing in their continued training that you truly feel that they are of value to you and your practice. Who would not be motivated by that?

Have faith in your staff, delegate with confidence that they can and will perform to the best of their ability. Show them that you have confidence that they will perform tasks to your expectation because you have taken the time to show them what that expectation is. They in turn will respect you as an employer because you treat them as a valued partner in your practice.

Take the time to reflect on what motivates you to keep doing the job that you are doing and what motivates you to want to do more. Ask the whys and what's that keep you moving forward. This will help you to understand the complexity of what you need to find out about the people that work for you so you can help keep them moving in the same direction.

"I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval then under a spirit of criticism."

-Charles Schwab

Founder of Charles Schwab & Co.

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