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Keeping Medical Staff Happy


Matching people with jobs that utilize their skills and personality is key to keeping them happy at your practice.

Keeping medical staff happy begins with understanding the difference between dissatisfaction and satisfaction. Satisfaction may be defined as the fulfillment of a need or want. One theory states that dissatisfaction isn't the opposite of satisfaction. It's something else entirely different. I learned to apply this theory in my management classes. It's called the Herzberg's Two Factor Theory. There are some criticisms of the model, but I think it offers leaders a good model to use as they set out to engage and retain employees.

The model states dissatisfaction isn't the opposite of satisfaction. Rather, no dissatisfaction is the opposite of dissatisfaction and no satisfaction is the opposite of satisfaction. Once you get your head around those statements, you can begin to understand some of the studies that support the theory.

In the same theory, it's demonstrated that certain things lead to dissatisfaction while others lead to satisfaction and they are not the opposite of each other. Things that will lead to dissatisfaction include poor job security, poor salary, poor fringe benefits, poor or complex company policies and overwhelming administrative structures, and a poor workplace environment. These are just a few of items that can lead to dissatisfaction of the employee. The important thing to remember is that to provide good job security, a competitive salary, good benefits and a pleasant work environment will not lead to a happy employee. Having these things will create an employee who is not dissatisfied. To create a satisfied employee another step is needed.

Create a Motivated Employee

To create a motivated employee, look to create a work environment and job that provides satisfaction. The satisfaction will arise from more intrinsic values of the employee and the recognition of the work they perform. Employee satisfaction has more to do with the work itself, and the degree of challenging work available to the employee. Giving them the opportunity to do something they feel is meaningful, making sure they are involved in the decision-making, and have the ability to grow and improve themselves makes them feel valued. Publicly recognizing them for their efforts and outcomes also contributes to a satisfied employee.

Give your employees opportunities to accept and embrace personal responsibility for their actions. Allow them to participate in problem-solving and implementation of the solution. One of the best ways to create a satisfied employee, after you've eliminated those items that create dissatisfaction such as salary, benefits, etc., is to find the right person for the job. Employee satisfaction begins with the proper selection of the employee to fit a particular job. Not everyone is a good fit for every job.

Find the Right Fit

Finding the right person for the job is difficult, but it can be made easier with a few tools. I recommend using personality testing to filter out people who won't perform well in a job. The first step is to create a personality profile based on the job description. Create a list of the personality traits that you think are necessary for someone to perform the tasks. Do they need to be outgoing? Do they need to be people oriented? Or does the task require a large amount of attention to detail? Once you have created your profile for the job, you have a clear idea of the type of person you're looking to fill the position with, and can then filter out personalities that don't fit the profile.

In the end, your goal is to find someone who not only has the skill set, but the personality traits that will allow them to thrive in the job. You probably don't want your receptionist or scheduler being reserved and focused on the tasks at hand. You would prefer them to be warm and cheerful as they greet patients. You might want your slower-paced, detailed oriented people working the billing and collections office where they can make sure all of the claims are filed properly. Once you match someone with the right job, your chances of having a satisfied employee go up considerably.

Employee satisfaction isn't some mysterious goal people only talk about it. It's an attainable objective with the proper planning, knowing who the best fit for the job is, and providing them the intangible aspects of recognition, responsibility, and achievement in the workplace.

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