8.28.15 Issue #703 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Why You Should Reward Your Team
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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When your team members go above and beyond, it’s important to reward them in some way for their efforts. This encourages them to continue to excel in their role, and tells them you appreciate the important contributions they make to the practice. The problem is, many dentists rely on bonus plans to reward their team members. Over the last few weeks I’ve told you why that’s a bad idea, but now it’s time to talk about the best ways to thank team members who put in the extra effort and exceed your expectations.

I suggest developing a rewards program and letting your team members know how they can earn both monetary and non-monetary rewards. Developing this reward-for-performance philosophy does much more than just benefit your employees, it benefits your practice as well. Here’s a look at how rewarding your employees can improve your practice, and how to develop a program that will motivate your team members to excel in everything they do.

The Benefits
If your employees don’t think their extra efforts are appreciated, chances are they’ll stop trying to impress you with their hard work and dedication. They want to know you value them, and the more you show that, the more they’ll push themselves to succeed. When you reward through a bonus program, you take the focus off their performance. Instead, they just want to know what they need to do to earn that extra $2,500 at the end of the year. While many dentists think money is a motivating factor, it simply isn’t – and giving out bonuses you might not even be able to afford does your practice more harm than good.

Developing a rewards program is a much better way to thank employees for exceeding your expectations. A reward is more personal, especially when you take the time to tailor the reward to each team member. Employees who are involved in rewards programs develop more of an ownership attitude in the practice’s success. They actively seek ways to improve their performance and tend to be more innovative. They also tend to work better as a team, because they clearly share one common goal: meeting and exceeding their performance measurements to help the practice reach true success and profitability.

When your employees feel valued, their performance will improve and they’ll bring a positive attitude to work each day. Their efficiencies and productivity will increase, and that means they’ll provide better care to your patients.

Creating a Rewards Program
Before you can develop a rewards program, you have to determine the practice’s objectives. Think about your values, and what you hope to achieve in specific areas of the practice. For instance, maybe you want to reduce accounts receivable by a certain amount per month, or decrease the number of costly impression retakes each week. Identify areas of improvement and strategies to help you get where you want to be, setting the stage for employees to meet and exceed those objectives. This will help them see the value of doing more than the bare minimum. Just remember, if you want your team members to excel, you have to provide them with the tools and training they need to make it happen.

Before you present your rewards program and objectives to your team, determine how results will be measured, what level of performance is expected, what kind of rewards you’ll offer and who will be eligible to receive those rewards. Creating this roadmap to practice success will prepare you to present your plan-of-action, and help your team understand why you’ve created a rewards program and what you want to achieve, making them enthusiastic about not only the prospect of earning a reward, but doing their part to help the practice grow.

Reward Your Team Members, Reward Your Practice
When team members feel appreciated, they’ll do what it takes to meet and exceed performance measurements, no matter how long they have to keep at it. Their motivation will help increase productivity and grow your bottom line, while also sending a positive vibe throughout your practice and to your patients.

Just remember not to expect significant changes overnight. A rewards program will motivate your employees, but the improvements will happen gradually. Once they have clear objectives, they can restructure their priorities and efforts to better align with the practice’s needs. It may take some time, but their performance will improve, and team members will not only be more productive, they’ll find better, more efficient ways to complete tasks.

Now that you know the benefits of a rewards program and why it’s better than giving out bonuses, you’re probably wondering what types of rewards you should offer. Check back next week for an overview of the monetary and non-monetary rewards that work best, and how to determine what might motivate your employees most. And trust me, once you implement a rewards program in your practice, with rewards your team members really want, you’ll notice an increase in production, a happier team and a more robust bottom line.

Next week, How to reward your employees.

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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