So you are a great dentist and you think you have pretty good staff. That’s great! Are all of your staff performing well? Are all staff adding value to your practice? Do you sometimes wish your staff were a little more motivated? It’s a pretty safe assumption that motivated staff will provide better patient care and will add more value to your practice.
Clearing Up Common Myths About Employee Motivation
The topic of motivating employees is extremely important to managers in any industry. For dentists, the topic has hardly been addressed. Despite the importance of the topic, several myths persist. Before looking at what dentists and office managers can do to support the motivation of employees, it’s important first to clear up some of the more common myths.
Myth #1 –“I can motivate people”
Not really — they have to motivate themselves. You can’t motivate people anymore than you can empower them. Employees have to motivate and empower themselves. However, you can set up an environment where they best motivate and empower themselves. The key is knowing how to set up this type of work environment for each of your employees and establish an effective management system in your practice that is both empowering and motivating.
Myth #2 — “Money is a the best motivator”
Not really. Certain things like money, a nice workspace and job security can help people from becoming less motivated, but they usually don’t help people to become more motivated. A key goal is to understand the motivations of each of your employees. We know money is not the best motivator as we look at studies related to staff retention, which show consistently that great staff don’t leave companies, they leave their boss. When staff doesn’t connect with their supervisor, they leave. This is much more common than leaving to make more money.
Myth #3 — “Fear is a darn good motivator”
Fear is a great motivator — for a VERY short time. That’s why a lot of yelling from the boss won’t seem to “light a spark under employees” for a very long time. Furthermore, yelling and insulting employees is simply no longer tolerated in the workplace. When people fear you, they don’t respect you, and therefore, they will not follow you or genuinely support you. Assuming you are wanting to motivate staff toward top performance, fear is definitely not a good option.
Myth #4 — “I know what motivates me, so I know what motivates my employees”
Not really. Different people are motivated by different things – “different strokes for different folks.” There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of people. If you have more than one child, you can certainly relate. What works for one child doesn’t always work for another. Simple Tips for Motivating Staff in Your Dental Practice.The same is true of employees in your practice. I may be greatly motivated by earning more free time away from my job to spend more time my family. You might be motivated much more by recognition of a job well done. Again, a key goal is to understand what motivates each of your employees.