Motivating Your Staff

One of the most important aspects of being a Manager is to try to keep both the GP’s and staff happy. How can you help the receptionists/Secretaries/Administrators work well in their often thankless task of trying to please both patients and doctors, and at the same time find job satisfaction for themselves?

Motivating staff is an essential part of any manager’s work. Keeping a “happy” team happy is far easier than trying to get a negative team positive again.

A full contract of employment is the first step of ensuring that the individual knows just what conditions to expect in their work. A comprehensive job description and regular appraisals should follow. However, the whole process of assessment and support has to develop progressively so that the individual continues to feel a valued member of the team. Most employees seek not only an interesting job but usually like to feel that what they are doing is worthwhile and also that they had job security.

Giving the opportunity for staff to learn new skills and gain wider experience of all areas of reception work which should help them feel that they are not simply standing still.

Staff are more likely to be motivated if they receive recognition and praise when it is deserved. As a manager I would regularly thank my staff.

The manager is not the only one who can offer praise, however. The GP’s, other members of staff and even the patients can all help in making individuals feel valued if they also offer their occasional approval or thanks.

Why not ask one of the GP’s along to a staff meeting every so often to offer a “thanks” to staff. Staff are happy if it is identified that they are appreciated and told they are doing a good job.

Staff will work better if the management of the practice is not only consistent by also seen to be fair. Treat everyone the same.

The variety of work within general practice can be a motivating factor for many of the staff and the fact that much of their time will be spent dealing with people (in itself both challenging and rewarding) is often seen as a positive benefit. Staff seem to value a sense of belonging and strong team leadership.

Job satisfaction is important and setting achievable goals for individual members of staff is an integral part of enabling them to experience job satisfaction – this can be done through a staff appraisal. You must recognise, however, that people will have their own goals as well as organisational ones and when the two coincide you are more likely to have a contented and able worker.

Keeping staff well-informed is essential – this can be done at regular team meetings. It gives you the chance as a manager to talk to the team, answer any questions and put things right if there are any misunderstandings.

Rewarding your staff with a “thank you” is important. There are other ways of doing this. Do you have a staff Christmas Party, or perhaps a Summer Party? Perhaps you might give your staff a yearly bonus. At one of the surgeries I worked at we closed the surgery at lunchtime – and sometimes we had a local craft person come in to do a demonstration – and sell their goods this was particularly well received around Christmas time when often the girls could buy up present for Christmas.  We would get in some sandwiches and it gave the girls a bit of time to relax and have some fun. This always went down very well.

It is most important to let your staff know just how much they are appreciated.

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