This month I am making my main focus, my staff. You will notice from our news feature that Locate a Locum is currently growing its team. As a result of this I have been thinking of ways to motivate and engage staff better.
Your staff are vitally important to the overall running of a business. They interact with customers daily and physically represent your business's connection to its customer base. Happy staff are productive staff; whereas staff with low morale can have disastrous effects on productivity and financial performance.
A common way of attempting to boost staff performance is using financial incentives such as bonuses. However, financial incentives will only work when there are no other major problems within the team.
Do you know what motivates your staff? What I mean by this question is do you know what makes them get up and come to work each morning? If you don't know, ask! And remember, not all staff are incentivised by money.
A recent example of this is when I worked in a shop where a member of staff had lots of sickness and upon investigation we found it was because of boredom. A simple resolution was to give them ownership of the smoking cessation service. From this the absenteeism quickly resolved.
Do you celebrate your successes? If not, why not? It is important to celebrate all success no matter how small it may be. For example, a team member could source a drug on short supply so the prescription did not get diverted to another pharmacy. The celebration doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate, turn the radio on and bring in a cake. The employees you recognise will be delighted that their work has been noticed and appreciated.
Giving feedback to staff can be used as a starting point for discussion in creating a good learning environment. Are you aware of your staff’s knowledge gaps? Are they possibly frustrated because they lack knowledge in a certain area?
A positive learning culture allows any employee to learn in a non-judgemental environment. Always remember that this works both ways, your staff will know things you do not and so you should learn from them too.
Do you know your employees career preferences? Can you provide them with opportunities to progress within their own career? You should know when and how to discuss each employee's career path. Doing so will allow you to create specific actions which support their career goals.
Probably the most important out of all of these points. You always must lead by example. You can’t expect your employees to be happy and motivated if you do not behave in this way yourself. I always make sure that I present myself in the manner at which I want my staff to feel, happy and motivated.
Motivating and engaging your team can be challenging; but when you do it right it is very rewarding to see what can be accomplished.
Without leading by example; providing a career path; creating a learning environment; celebrating milestones; and empowering your staff you will have a difficult time getting positive results out of your team. Your goal should be motivating them to meet and exceed the objectives you have set for them.
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