Dear Barry – team motivation for the new year

Motivation for the team in 2020Dear Barry, how can I go about motivating my team for a successful and happy 2020?

It’s a common desire for any business to find a positive way forward at the beginning of a new year.

The good news is that there are actually quite a lot of great ideas that are easy to incorporate into everyday practice. They can make a huge and positive difference.

Top tips to improve motivation

There’s no definitive list but here are my top five tips:

  1. Revisit your vision, mission, goals and values with the team. Involve the team when discussing if they are still valid or need tweaking. This makes the whole team feel valued. It starts the ball rolling for what needs doing for the business and staff to thrive
  2. Plan some team events outside of the practice. If you play together as well as work together, it forms a great bond and allows people to shine beyond their dental expertise. It can, for example, be a meal together or something fun like go-karting. Or you could combine it with some form of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sign up for a charitable event such as a fun run
  3. Gather the team for a morning huddle – it sets the tone for the day and is a great way to start; share a joke, an inspirational quote, a funny story; mention the best thing that happened yesterday; or the best patient of the day, who will you ask for a referral? That sort of thing builds lasting positivity
  4. Thank them for their hard work. Do you know there’s a wrong way and a right way to do it? Imagine saying this to the dental nurse: ‘You worked really well today but can you make sure the surgery is stocked up please?’ By using the word ‘but’ they don’t hear the compliment and gratitude, just that something more needs to be done. To stop this happening, simply use the word ‘and’ instead of ‘but’
  5. Review each team member’s PDPs and check if they are happy with their progression. This will help everyone move forward in an effective way and ensure they are happy in their role. As part of this, consider team training, it allows everyone to better themselves at the same time and improve team interaction, as well as ensuring everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet.

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