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Mind Your Business Supporting Your Practice

What are the 8 rules to keep your team motivated?

Dental team 3

To build and keep an engaged and motivated team, practitioners and leaders within the team should lead by example in an environment of mutual respect. The rules of motivation can assist in keeping the team on track.

  1. Leaders must be motivated
  • Enthusiastic leaders set the tone for the rest of the team and the practice’s culture. Be positive, have a “can do” attitude and give your own work 100%!
  1. Recruit team members that are also highly motivated
  • New people can change the team’s dynamics.
  • When you add team members to your team, make sure your new hires also shares your values and has the right personality and temperament to work with your existing team.
  1. Treat team members fairly
  • Be fair and consistent with all your team members so they feel motivated to contribute to the team.
  • While each individual may have differing needs, setting open and honest policies up front can ensure responsiveness to these needs while being fair to everyone.
  1. Set goals
  • Reaching achievable yet challenging goals can create a sense of accomplishment, pride and motivation for the team.
  • In contrast, if the goal is unattainable, it can become an exercise in frustration.
  • Work with each team member and know his/her capability.
  1. Give progress reports and feedback
  • Providing your team with updates keeps them motivated. Not knowing about where they stand with respect to the practice goals can be as discouraging as not reaching the goals.
  1. Create an environment that is motivating
  • Try to meet your team’s needs. This may include removing barriers that may impede their ability to complete tasks.
  • Encourage the team to work collaboratively and then recognize and celebrate your team’s successes.
  1. Reward the team fairly
  • Fair compensation taking into account loyalty and achievement should be offered to each team member. Additional rewards may consist of pension plans, team outings, health insurance and/or bonuses.
  1. Recognition
  • As practice life is busy, there may not be time to deal with issues that arise or to give praise. As such, it is important for leaders to take time to discuss each team member’s contributions weekly rather than waiting for an annual performance appraisal.

Source: Dental Reception and Practice Management, Wiley, 2007

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