By Amy Morgan, CEO of Pride Institute
Almost everywhere I go, doctors ask me some variation of this question: How do I get my team motivated to think like an owner and go the extra mile?
I almost always begin my answer with, “No one can motivate anyone to do anything.” (This is the unfortunate but very real truth). Motivation has to come from within. It’s an internal process, a reason to act a certain way based on the good ole radio stations — WII FM (What’s in it for me?), WSI (Why should I), and MMFI (Make me feel important). You may not be able to force motivation, but the leader is responsible for creating a culture that promotes motivation and influences people.
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This is not just semantics. The best definition of leadership I’ve seen is, “Leadership is influencing and inspiring people to WANT to do what you want them to do.” The word “want” is the key to motivation. A lazy way to create a motivating environment is the old school “carrot and stick” form of reward and punishment. This model is based on the fact that your team will only work harder if you dangle a carrot in front of them or threaten them with a whip if they balk. There are fundamental flaws in this logic that make this model unsuitable for today’s self-directed team environment.
If carrots and sticks don’t work, what does?
1) Look for the intrinsic benefits to better performance — tying the requested task to a bigger purpose, highlighting the potential for increased self-esteem, increasing self-worth through personal growth, recognizing and acknowledging people for their efforts that go above and beyond. When you give a team member an opportunity to honestly strive for meaning, you will see them find untapped resources that propel them to superstar status.
2) Create a compensation model based on practice growth and demonstrated individual merit that your staff can understand and control.
3) When you do reward, involve the individual or team in the creation, execution, and follow-through. Make sure the reward is something they want and the outcome is achievable.
4) Never forget that the small stuff always counts. Praise, ongoing communication, and a sense of inclusion and respect are what inspire people to want to come to work. Without it, no amount of reward can ever be enough.
Tuesday Tips from Pride Institute are provided weekly on their Facebook page, as well as in this column in DentistryIQ. To ensure you don’t miss any of Pride Institute’s proven methods to take your practice to the next level, visit www.prideinstitute.com, and like them on Facebook.