4 Ways to Make Your Clinic Immediately UN-happy and UN-productive
In our previous post we offered some simple tips to help keep your clinic staff motivated and productive. While there are plenty of ways to get staff motivation right, there are also plenty of ways to get staff motivation wrong.
Here are four things to avoid in order to keep your clinic a happy and productive one:
1 – Promoting or Rewarding the Wrong Employees
A great way to keep staff is to reward and promote from within, it creates a level of job satisfaction and helps your staff plan their careers with your clinic in terms of years. Keeping good staff through this philosophy is vital, however it keeps the bad staff too. Promoting or rewarding under-qualified or unproductive staff members simply because they’ve been with the practice for a long time is counter-intuitive to your goals of retaining great staff.
Brian White, managing partner of Competitive Solutions, a consultancy that helps grow physician practices, reminds us that success in lower-level positions is not always a strong indicator of success in higher level ones. Just because a staff member has been with the clinic for a long time and knows it well, does not mean that they would do well in a senior role.
Not only could it cause problems with the running of the business but will give the wrong impression for other employees.
2 – Not Terminating Bad Staff
Similar to the previous point is rewarding bad staff by continuing their employment. Firing an unproductive staff member isn’t fun and many managers avoid it for as long as possible for fear of creating a negative or stressful work environment.
However if a staff member is under-performing in your clinic, that actually puts added strain on the rest of your team to pick up the slack. Terminating one staff member’s contract is also a way of telling the rest of your team that they’re doing a good job, because you want to keep them.
3 – Putting Incentives in Place for Existing Responsibilities
This is another example of rewarding the wrong staff, or to put it a different way, rewarding your staff for the wrong thing.
Incentives are a great way to boost morale and productivity, but if a member of your team needs incentives just to do their regular job then it tells you that they are not intrinsically motivated and that this may not be the job for them.
Marc Lion, CPA, CFP, founder of Lion & Company, CPAs, LLP and a member of the National CPA Health Care Advisors Association says that “You’re already paying employees to perform these responsibilities, so offering incentives for doing so sets the precedent that ‘holdouts’ or poor performers can ultimately be paid more for doing the work they should have been doing all along”.
4 – Viewing Morale & Motivation as a One-Off Project
Many clinics see morale as a project, one that they will work on for a certain a number of weeks/months before feeling that the problem will be fixed. Whatever actions you take or measures you put in place, if there isn’t consistent follow-up they will have little effect on staff productivity. The same is true for team-building, an activity worked into the budget when it comes time to arrange the staff Christmas party and then forgotten about in January.