As a practice manager, it’s your responsibility to maximize efficiency, productivity and accuracy throughout your clinic, and motivating clinical staff is a key ingredient to producing those outcomes. In this blog, we’ll examine strategies to motivate your clinical staff on both a group and individual basis, using goals, competition and incentives.
It’s important to note that some of these motivational strategies suggest minor expenditures (free lunch, small gift card, etc.), but the gains from improved efficiency and performance will far outweigh the small cost of incentives.
1. Set individual goals based on past performance
Monitoring progress of each staff member allows you to not only evaluate that individual periodically, but also continually work on improving performance. Using past evaluations (and your knowledge) of each clinical staff member, identify areas for improvement and create monthly or quarterly goals that address those weaknesses.
Make sure the goal is tangible and measurable, and improves your clincal practice incrementally, while developing the staff member’s skills or abilities. Consider making the goals public knowledge, with a bulletin board to recognize individuals who meet their monthly/quarterly goal. You may also want to offer a small gift for those who reach their goal, such as a $10 gift card or extra paid break.
2. Offer incentives for practice-wide staff goals
In addition to setting individual staff member goals, implement a practice-wide goal (and corresponding incentive) each month or quarter, to have everyone working together toward a common outcome.
Perhaps there are certain duties that the staff as a whole struggles with. Or, you may want to choose a “focus area” each month or quarter, such as reducing insurance denials through proper pre-authorization protocols. Practice-wide incentives might be free lunch brought in or a small group outing.
3. Create friendly competition based on factors you choose
Competitions are another great way to motivate clinical staff. The pride and recognition of winning a competition can be powerful motivators. Each month or quarter, choose an area to focus on that applies to all staff and can be concretely measured. Ideas might include completing clinic opening activities by 9 a.m., scoring over 90% on procedure room turnover inspections, completing three downtime tasks per day, etc. Have a leaderboard posted for all to see who is in the lead on a daily basis.
An alternative idea would be to name an MVP or staff member of the month, based on factors you judge (volunteering for downtime tasks, patient compliments, appointments set, etc.) The recognition of winning the contest may be enough incentive, or you may choose to include a nominal gift as well for the monthly winner.
4. Base salary increases and bonuses on productivity
Regularly track various performance measures for each staff member, such as accuracy, patient complaints and compliments, errors or forgotten tasks—whatever you feel are most valuable to monitor. Then use that data for every performance review and salary discussion. If a staff member asks for a raise, for instance, approve or deny the request based on the tangible factors you track.
Tracking all of this staff member information may seem overwhelming, especially on top of all the essential responsibilities of managing a practice. Make it simple to measure progress and motivate staff by taking advantage of electronic record keeping and reporting, using a tool like ReadyList for Clinics.