How Do You Motivate Office Staff?

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Author(s): 
Lynn Homisak, PRT

   I don’t believe there is ever just one universal reward that sparks people to action. Instead, there are a number of different motivators, driven by each individual’s needs. For example, why does one run a race? Is it just to receive a monetary reward or a ribbon, or because it gives the person an internal feeling of accomplishment and self-fulfillment? Maybe some do it for public recognition, just to prove that they can, as a means of exercise or because their doctor recommended it for a healthier heart. You can’t know what motivates people unless you ask and this is true with your staff as well.

   In addition to fair wages, remember that employees also need empowerment, interesting work, attitudinal buy-in, respect, job security, loyalty and fairness. Importantly, as I previously mentioned, employees have the need to be recognized and acknowledged as individuals.

   That said, I believe that the most powerful motivators are those spontaneous, original and thought out acts of kindness, like knowing how your staff takes their cup of coffee and having one unexpectedly waiting for them when they arrive on a dreary Monday morning. It is something with personal meaning attached that really hits home. Perhaps it is remembering their work anniversary and celebrating it by taking them out to lunch. Maybe you leave their favorite snack on their desk. Another approach might be writing a personal thank you note just to say what a good job they are doing or acknowledging a completed task. If you really don’t know what motivates your staff, now is as good a time as any to find out.

   Accordingly, I pose to each of you this challenge, which will prove to be both eye opening and stimulating. Do yourself and your practice a favor by getting to know your staff better. Ask them what incentivizes them. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a written survey. If you are serious about learning meaningful ways to motivate your staff and you are up to the task, I will send an “As we learn, we grow” survey template to you to help get you started. Email lynn@soshms.com and let success begin.

   Ms. Homisak, the President of SOS Healthcare Management Solutions, has a Certificate in Human Resource Studies from the Cornell University School of Industry and Labor Relations, and a Certificate in Health Coaching from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is recognized nationwide as a speaker, writer and expert in staff and human resource management.

References
1. Available at http://jackcanfield.com/practice-uncommon-appreciation/ .
2. Available at http://www.nursingcenter.com/prodev/ce_article.asp?tid=1364373 .
3. Available at http://www.hrbrief.com/content20823 .

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