How to Keep Your Staff Properly Motivated

May 27, 2011

I can honestly say that certain techniques that I use in my practice to motivate staff have worked flawlessly for me for almost eight years now, and as such, our employee turnover is extremely low.

There are a variety of techniques a private medical practice can employ to keep staff properly motivated on a day-to-day basis. I will describe the various methods that I use in my practice and can honestly say that these techniques have worked flawlessly for me for almost eight years now. My practice continues to have a very high employee-retention rate and as such, our employee turnover is extremely low.

The most popular method of keeping staff motivated is through routine profit sharing and payment of bonuses based upon their performance. Certainly in our present economic situation, each employee gladly welcomes any additional monetary payments wholeheartedly and this has served as the primary method of saying "thank you" to my employees for their hard work. Employees understand that our patients are our customers and they constantly strive to provide a very positive experience for our patients on a daily basis.

To better understand the needs of patients (our customers), our office has a suggestion box to which patients can freely fill out and drop in random surveys. These surveys ask patients to comment on their experiences and also comment on the services received not only by the physician and nurse practitioners, but also provide for routine input regarding the nursing staff and reception staff - and phlebotomy experiences. As each survey is reviewed, the office personnel routinely receive feedback from me regarding patient comments and suggestions.

Another popular method of motivation has been the routine method of providing bonus vacation days to the employees. This additional time can be used by each employee as a supplement to their regular vacation time earned, and each employee understands that any vacation time that is not used by the end of the year is fair game for repayment. Occasionally, the additional time given to each employee is used, however is it more common for the employees to bank their time and receive additional monetary compensation at the end of the year.

Each calendar year provides routine appreciation days for our office staff. Appreciation days for the clerical, nursing, and nurse practitioners is generally recognized by our local florist delivering nice arrangements to each employee. This practice has been well received and each employee greatly appreciates the additional recognition for their hard work. With each routine appreciation day, an advertisement is placed in our local newspaper highlighting each employee with his or her years of service noted and a “thank you” from the practice for the employee’s hard work. Not only does this provide great satisfaction for each employee, but it also allows the community to see that my staff’s hard work is appreciated.

Our practice has regularly provided a year-end Christmas party for the employees and their immediate family members. Such parties have ranged from reserving a room at one of our local high-end restaurants to a private celebration at a local bed and breakfast. This tradition has been well received, as employees enjoy the ability to fellowship with their co-workers in an environment outside of the office. This is typically the time that year-end bonuses are given to the employees as well.

The medical practice owes its success to the dedicated employees that present to work on a day-to-day basis. As each employee greets our patients and provides the expected services, it is important to remember that a well-satisfied and a well-compensated employee can be an invaluable asset to the practice. The patients see that the employees are appreciated and routinely comment positively regarding their experiences. This day-to-day positive patient experience translates into continued positive word of mouth recommendations in our community and as such can be more valuable to the practice than any newspaper advertisement, radio, or television spot and will do nothing other than provide a continuous stream of new patients to the practice.

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