Are your employees invisible?
When's the last time you gave someone on your team a pat on the back? Shine a light on your team members to ensure they feel appreciated.
Reality checkHow bad is it? An astounding 65 percent of Americans report receiving no recognition for good work in the past year, say Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, co-authors of How Full Is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life (Gallup Press, 2004).
When is the last time you:
"It's a quick and easy solution to throw money at our employee problems," say Gostick and Elton, "as if higher salaries will enhance productivity or generate ideas or cultivate customer intimacy." Competitive salaries are important, they say, but going above market won't drive greater performance. In reality, real solutions are much less expensive: Each of your employees wants to be seen, validated, and recognized.
Think of someone on your team who deserves recognition for an extraordinary effort and send a handwritten note of thanks to his or her home. Tie your message to a core value that's important to your team. Make it specific. Explain exactly what the employee did that was outstanding and moved you closer to your practice goals.
I've seen such notes tacked up on walls, pulled out of wallets, kept in a special place—and, invariably, treasured. Why? Because recognition is so rare.
"Outstanding leaders," said Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, "go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish."
Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Bob Levoy is a seminar speaker based in Roslyn, N.Y., who focuses on profitability and practice growth. His newest book is 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices (Jones and Bartlett, 2006).