Some chiropractors who focus on practicing their specialties often do not pay enough attention to motivating their staff. Using effective motivational techniques with a chiropractor's staff can have a positive impact on the chiropractic practice in many ways. First of all, the staff will take more pride in their work and will do a better job of interfacing with patients if they are highly motivated. Second, a motivated employee is less likely to take a job elsewhere if they are working in an environment where they feel they are appreciated.
The first step in motivating a staff member is to accurately define the roles and responsibilities of a staff member. Just taking this first step clearly defining job responsibilities will make an employee more productive and, in fact, more motivated. Another advantage of a clear job description is that it is easier to determine if a staff member merits a raise or not. A job description also provides a basis for coaching an employee and measuring performance against the job description.
There are a variety of motivational techniques that can be used for motivating staff. First, one of the simplest and cheapest methods yet most effective methods for motivating a staff member is to give that staff member positive feedback when their performance exceeds expectations. There are a variety of ways to provide positive feedback. For example, an employee could be complemented on the job they are doing in front of coworkers. Another approach, besides recognizing performance with an annual salary increase, is to simply give an employee some added unexpected benefits when their performance is good. One example would be to give an employee an extra vacation day or letting them leave early from work if their performance exceeds expectations. Often providing an employee with an unexpected benefit can have the most impact.
Another interesting approach for judging an employee's performance is to get feedback from the patients within your practice. I recommend that after each patient visit they are provided with a questionnaire to get feedback on the overall experience with the practice and with the staff members. To encourage feedback, a gift such as a certificate to a local restaurant could be provided. Getting patient feedback about employees provides one vehicle for evaluating employee performance.
Of course, providing an employee with a raise or promotion is another well recognized way to motivate staff although in a small practice this is not always feasible. If a dollar increase in salary cannot be provided, a promotion in title has some impact.
When it comes to motivating staff members, communications is key. If all employees understand what the overall goals of the practice are, how the practice is performing, and what can be done to improve performance, they are more likely to pull together as a team helping you improve profitability and services provided to patients. Nothing is worse than having employees unaware of important facts about what is happening in the practice.
Another way to reward employees is to install some type of suggestion program whether it be formal or informal. Encourage employees to suggest new ways the services provided to patients can be improved or ways practice profitability can be enhanced. When these suggestions are received, the employee should all ways be thanked for providing the suggestions and, if appropriate, monetary reward could be provided.
Although often not enough attention is paid by a chiropractor to motivating staff, it is definitely worthwhile to focus on motivating staff.