Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Boost Employee Morale and Productivity

With the state of the economy in flux, the last thing you want happening at your practice is an employee exodus. Training new hires is expensive and time consuming, so having a set of reliable staffers who are experienced in their job duties is essential.

Keeping employees happy should be a priority at your practice. Here’s a set of simple, recession-friendly reminders on the best ways to keep your staff motivated and content.

Show Your Appreciation
If your staff is doing above average work, thank them for it. It’s easy to neglect to express gratitude, especially if you become accustomed to superior performance.

Think about it: If a long-term employee always goes above and beyond for you, you may come to nonchalantly expect excellence from that person as a baseline standard. If you stop acknowledging how well he does his job, he may come to feel underappreciated and thus unsatisfied with his position.

Thanking an employee or issuing small rewards for good work can go a long way. Be sure to make appreciatory gestures whenever possible.

Embrace Change
Managers can be resistant to moving outside their comfort zones. The medical practice is a setting of well-established schedules and routines – which isn’t always a bad thing.

But if you get too attached to the customs of your office, you may find yourself behind the times. Many employees are seeking a more modern workplace experience than your practice may provide, especially when it comes to schedules.

Research from Georgetown Law School and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found that 80 percent of employees would appreciate more flexible work options. You may not like the idea of watching a full-time employee walk out at 3 pm, but embracing change and adapting to employee needs is a great way to ensure staff satisfaction.

Ask for Advice
“Having a management style that allows for collaboration is one of the subtle ways you can make staff feel empowered,” says Paula Comm, administrator at a Chicago-area psychiatric practice.

Your workplace should be an environment where input is valued, so involve staff in your process when you’re making business decisions. Soliciting advice from your employees shows you appreciate their opinions and expertise, which helps them feel valued by you.

Know What They Want
Take the time to learn what your employees want to gain from their positions and how they envision their future at your company.

Don’t assume everyone’s seeking a raise or promotion. Some of your employees may want to earn increased compensation and move up in the company ranks, but others may be content with their current jobs and want reassurance that their positions are secure.

Open up a dialogue with your employees about their current goals, career aspirations and long-term plans. Knowing what your staffers want from their jobs is key to keeping them happy now and in the future.

Be Present
Don’t manage solely from out-of-sight. If you communicate primarily via email or instant messenger with your subordinates, they may come to feel detached and lose the manager-staffer relationship that boosts employee satisfaction.

Research published in the Harvard Business Review pinpointed that employees have an innate desire to bond with others that they seek to fulfill through work. Fostering a culture of direct communication and relationship-building boosts employees’ dedication to their employer by addressing that “bonding desire.”

You don’t have to become best friends with your staffers. Just make time to speak with and know them. Drop by your employees’ desks and schedule face-to-face meetings when possible. Make your presence felt in person – it makes a difference.

How do you keep your employees happy?