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How do you reward staff?
Despite what they may think we do value our staff and we would love to regularly reward them for their hard work and loyalty, but giving a pay increase to show appreciation isn’t always an option. Even a promotion may not be possible, due to current staffing levels, but what else do staff want in order to feel rewarded? By finding out what else motivates them you may be able to come up with alternative ways of showing your appreciation. I have found that staff who feel valued by their employer are more likely to go over and beyond what is required of them and are often happy in their job. They are also less likely to leave their job and their colleagues. The trick is to simply show them in that you care. Even though I am their manager, always endeavour to treat my staff the way that I would like to be treated.
Remember to regularly say ‘thank you’, it goes a very long way in my book. We all do things that we feel we are expected to do but when a colleague, a manager or an employer says thank you, and really means it, it can go a long way to boosting someone’s self esteem and worth. It feels even more appreciated when it’s said in front of other team members.
Of course even a thank you isn’t enough sometimes, something more tangible can be proof that you value your staff. Maybe the chairs in the staffroom really are on their last legs and need replacing but involving staff in choosing some new chairs would make them feel that their input is valued. I recently asked the reception staff to choose a new colour for the waiting room walls. After all, they’re the ones staring at it all day every working day. Luckily they chose a lovely colour!
Another way of rewarding staff is by sourcing cost effective training. I find that staff mention the same training courses during their appraisals but it’s not always possible to give them what they want. When a training opportunity arises consider which staff might be interested and ask other local practices if their staff would like to attend, you may be able to negotiate a group discount and share training costs, particularly if it’s something you can host at your own practice.
Of course social events are also a great motivator, if you encourage staff to help to plan the event. By allowing each department to organise an event will result in everyone feeling included.
Alison Lowerson – QCS Expert GP Practice Manager Contributor