4.29.16 Issue #738 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Jonathan Gale, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Tips to Motivate and Engage your Staff
By Jonathan Gale, Ph.D.

‘Employee Engagement’ is a term that refers to the extent which employees or staff feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the practice or organization, and put discretionary effort into their work. Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction. When you think about your practice, do you believe your staff are excited to come to work?  Are they passionate about their jobs?  Are they willing to go above and beyond to achieve outstanding results?  If not, you may be facing a staff engagement gap, with team members who don’t feel motivated or connected to the organization or their jobs.

There is no arguing that a highly engaged staff member is a productive one. They care about their work, drive innovation, and move their practice forward. Unfortunately, engaged staff are hard to come by. Gallup recently reported that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work, according to the above definition of ‘engagement.’ The United States, which reported the highest levels of engagement, found that only 29% of employees reported being engaged in their places of work. These results show there is a great deal of room for improvement for leaders, small businesses and large organizations.

The good news: There are many ways to make your staff feel more inspired by their work. Many of these strategies are very easy to implement into your leadership practices and can have a profound impact on overall motivation. Below are 4 tips to motivate and engage your office staff.

Tip #1: Get To Know Your People
In the hustle of a typical work day, it’s easy to forget about devoting time towards really getting to know your team. A manager who understands what a staff member’s strengths, values and drives are, is better able to assess how to motivate and coach him or her. If you have a new staff member, don’t wait until they have worked for you for months. Spend time with them upfront and ask questions about them, their families, what they would like from you, their goals and their motivators (to the degree they feel comfortable sharing personal information, of course). Make sure you demonstrate that you are truly interested in learning about them and be prepared to share about yourself. Always remember, communication is a two-way street. If you are taking the time to ask these questions, make sure you are also taking the time to truly listen.

Tip #2: Set Clear Expectations
Compared to other performance management activities, your ability to set realistic performance expectations has the greatest impact on staff engagement. To effectively set realistic performance expectations, you can have goal setting discussions shortly after performance reviews. Here are some questions that can help you think through the process of setting performance expectations for your staff:

• Are the goals relevant to the business?
• Are there too few or too many goals?
• Are the goals results-based and measurable - are they SMART (i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound)?

Tip #3: Develop Your Staff
Staff of leaders who are very effective at development can outperform their peers by up to 25%. As the leader of your practice, encourage professional development by having a clear plan in mind. A development plan will help create a roadmap for your people. Once their goals are established, enlist the support of the Office Manager to help them in their development. Everyone can benefit from someone holding them accountable to their goals, and it is a great way to engage your Office Manager. Also, challenge your staff to push themselves out of their comfort zone with special projects or additional assignments outside of their day-to-day roles. As humans, we are driven to grow and develop new skills.

Tip #4: Notice What Gets Done
Everyone wants to be recognized and appreciated for their hard work. Recognition from you as the leader can go a very long way in motivating your staff, and the effects can be immediate. A good leader knows how each of his or her people like to be recognized and flexes to the appropriate approach. Some staff members want the public recognition for good work, while others want a more private pat on the back. Get to know your staff and try to recognize them in the way that inspires them the most. A one size fits all approach will not drive the same level of motivation as a more customized style of rewards.

Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at jgalephd@mckenziemgmt.com

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