Satisfaction Is Up, But Employees Are Out
In case you’ve missed the latest news on employee workplace attitudes, you’ll be glad to know that workers are doing less whining and are happier than they’ve been in recent years. Overall, employees are reporting that they are much more content in their current jobs than they were just months ago. Last year, nearly 70% of employees were unhappy. This year, a mere 46% are discontented.
That’s good news for employers…or is it? According to a recent Salary.com survey, keeping employees happy these days isn’t necessarily enough to keep them on your payroll. In fact, their latest survey reveals an interesting irony - although they are generally happier in their jobs, 83% of the 1,200 employees surveyed reported that they are scanning the marketplace for new employment opportunities.
So why are so many more workers looking to change their employment situation? The answer is simple: money. Nearly one-third of those surveyed said an increase in pay would encourage them to stay where they are. However, money isn’t the only reason employees cite as cause for dusting off their resumes - lack of advancement opportunities and lack of appreciation rounded out the top three reasons why workers are looking for greener pastures. It is yet another reminder that quality employees are hard to find and even harder to keep.
But as this latest survey reveals, factors that are well within the employer’s control weigh heavy on whether workers will wander. So the obvious question is, what are you doing to keep your top players from becoming free agents? After all, you have far more control over your employment rolls than many of you realize, starting with the least expensive and most effective employee retention tool in your toolbox: appreciation.
In general, dentists, like many employers, tend to think about thanking and recognizing their employees around the holidays. The gifts, the parties, the bonuses are doled out. Everyone celebrates and then the doctor withdraws to the treatment rooms and the employees resume their respective positions around the office. Keep the momentum of good cheer and goodwill going throughout the year and it will pay huge dividends in retaining quality staff.
Summer is an excellent time to rev up your rewards program. If you don’t have one, this is the perfect opportunity to establish it. As I spell out step-by-step in my book “How to Reward Your Dental Team,” a well-constructed rewards program has specific criteria and objectives. Ultimately, the program should be designed to work for the good of the practice and to help move the practice and the team toward established goals. Be sure to ask for input from the team and involve them in designing the program. You want to know what motivates them to excel. If they are instrumental in creating the program, they will appreciate the recognition all the more. Additionally, it’s important to establish a budget. This encourages creativity and underscores the fact that recognition need not be synonymous with bonuses or high-dollar gifts.
Keep in mind that people respond differently to different forms of appreciation. One employee will beam in the spotlight when she is recognized in a staff meeting, while another will shun the individual attention. And while it may be easy, a one-size-fits-all approach to recognition and appreciation is ineffective. However, there is no substitute for genuine displays of thanks and appreciation. If you tell everyone that they are “the best,” your words eventually become hollow. Keep it real. Keep it sincere.
Invest in your team. When it comes to rewarding high performing employees, continuing education opportunities are a commonly preferred perk. What’s more, CE can benefit the entire practice. If employees are learning new skills that energize them, they will be eager to put them into practice - resulting in improved systems, better patient education, and increased treatment acceptance.
While you’re at it, don’t overlook the immediate and obvious benefits of catching employees at their best. On the spot rewards in the form of gift cards - $5 to a favorite coffee shop, $10 for a nearby lunch spot or iTunes card, or $20 for Amazon.com - can be ideal for recognizing excellence immediately. The program should be flexible, so that bigger rewards can be tailored toward the specific interests of the employee(s) recognized.
Ensuring that your employees feel appreciated and valued will ensure that the program achieves its intended purpose – motivation, recognition, and achievement of overall practice goals.
Next week, 4 rules to motivate with money.
For more information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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