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20 Tips to Motivate Your Team

First published on The Profitable Dentist.

Owners often think money is the main motivator for employees, however studies show that if a person is paid what they feel is fair compensation, there are other ways they find their motivation. It’s important to remember, not everyone is motivated by the same things, therefore it is imperative to not only to learn how to employ these motivating tips but also to identify what motivates each team member individually.

Let’s look at 20 unique ways to motivate your team. Remember, they already feel well compensated!

1. Lead by example.

If you expect your team to work hard and go the extra mile, they will be more motivated if they see the leaders of the organization putting in extra effort.

It is just like with kids, they are more likely to learn and follow you based off what you do versus what you tell them to do.

2. Start the day on the right foot.

If you want your team to be motivated, work hard and do more, there is a greater chance when the day starts on the right foot and not negatively? How you run your huddle, how you lead the team in the morning will trickle throughout the day.

Imagine the difference between starting on a happy note versus on a negative note.

3. Play games.

Everyone likes to have fun and when you add games to whatever you are trying to get the team to do, they are more likely to do it than if you just told them it was an added job duty.

Make it fun and maybe even a little competitive.

4. Give positive feedback.

Many times, the only feedback employees get is when they do something wrong.If you want to motivate your team, spotlight the positive things that they do also.

5. Have an open-door policy.

Your team is likely going to work harder for someone they respect, like and trust.If they feel they can come to you with questions, issues or concerns and are not afraid to talk with you, they will feel closer to you and more likely to do more in their role.

6. Ask their opinion.

If the employees are always coming to you to help solve problems, over time they will feel they need to rely on you and not be as motivated to solve and do things on their own. If you ask for their opinion, they start to feel you value them more and begin to trust themselves in the process.

7. Have opportunities for advancement.

People will work harder if they feel as a result, they have more opportunities they can advance to in the future.If people see their position as a dead-end road, they won’t work harder to move up but instead, just do the minimum and barely suffice.

8. Audit regularly.

It is important to have your team members know their work will be checked and evaluated on a random yet regular basis.

If they know their work will be evaluated, they will work harder to ensure it is done well.

9. Explain the “why” to everything they do.

People are going to work harder and go an extra mile when they understand their purpose and why they are doing each activity and how they play into the bigger picture.

10. Have a non-dental focus outing.

Take the team out for an event that gives them time to spend with their co-workers outside of work and shows them they are appreciated.

11. Say thank you regularly.

Saying please and thank you can go a long way to motivate employees.When you ask for something to be done or after it’s complete – say please and thank you.

12. Focus on people, not just teams.

People like to be noticed and acknowledged.If you take the extra step to check in individually with your team members, they will appreciate it and be more motivated to work harder because they feel appreciated and connected.

13. Keep your promises.

If you say you are going to do something, do it.If you don’t keep your promises, your team members will begin to second guess your commitment and eventually their commitment will wane.

14. Recognizing success and rewards.

When your team achieves a goal, no matter how big or small, make sure it is recognized.If you skip the reward goals are achieved, eventually the team will stop pushing to reach goals.

15. Create a great culture.

The culture is the personality of your organization. If your office has a great culture, people on the team are going to work harder to stay part of it.If you don’t have a great culture, people won’t work as hard and become only willing to do the bare minimum to keep their job.

16. Remind everyone of the purpose.

When businesses first start up or when an employee is new, there is a lot of focus on the big picture but the more established a practice gets, the more it becomes about the numbers. Regularly remind the team what the bigger reason is and what we are all here to do. The numbers only illustrate how we are doing at reaching the real purpose.Have everyone focused on the bigger prize.

17. Eliminate drama.

By default, people are not going to work as hard and push as hard when the environment they work in is unmotivating or hostile.Drama not only squashes motivation, patients can also feel it which hurts the overall patient experience.

18. Encourage teamwork.

People can produce at a certain level but teams can produce on a higher level, so encouraging teamwork will not only increase overall productivity of the employees but it will also make work more fun.

19. Be flexible.

Employees that have flexibility in their jobs, like the ability to take a day off to go on their kid’s field trip or take an afternoon off to go to a doctor’s appointment will be more loyal and work harder than one that is too afraid to ask for any personal time.

20. Invest in your team.

The best investment you can make in your practice is in your team. To help employees get and stay motivated, you need to continually invest in them.

Regular training not only helps your team learn or hone the skills you want them to have but it also shows that you want to invest in them.If they feel you are investing in them and their success, they are more likely to go an extra mile for you.

The reality is that motivating your team is not a one and done type of effort. Everyone is different and motivated differently. It is important as a leader that when you are looking to motivate your team, you are looking for a variety of ways that you can regularly entice and excite them. That is the role of an effective leader!

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Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM is the founder and driving force behind Front Office Rocks, and the leading provider of on-demand virtual training and resources for dental practices.