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5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Motivated on an NHS Shoestring

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With many of our practices feeling the squeeze of QOF deadlines and extended hours, now is the time to keep employees dedicated and focused on the task at hand.

A few months ago, I discussed 7 ways to reward staff when there’s no money or promotions to hand out. At this time of year – with longer days and shorter nights – spring appointments mounting up, QOF and prescription incentives still on the distant horizon, the NHS cupboard is bare for staff rewards, making it doubly difficult to keep morale high. So I thought I’d start by looking at five ways for a practice to motivate its employees without breaking the bank

1.Give a little flexi-time

Staff have huge commitments outside of the practice and especially if they are parents of young children back at school again. Offering a little flexible working time where possible helps people commit to both their personal needs and the needs of the practice, making life just that little bit easier for everyone.

2.Keep people involved

When people are involved in making the decisions that affect them and the way they work, they naturally become more engaged with their jobs. Staff feel more responsible for the processes and practices that that they have helped to shape; job satisfaction increases, and motivation to continue to improve grows.

3.Make team meetings motivational and educational

Hold an end-of-week team meeting with the objective of allowing people to share their positive and negative experiences from the past week. This helps to commit the whole team to best practices and point out the pitfalls to avoid. You could also use these meetings to present an ‘employee of the week’ award and reward a member of staff for outstanding performance.

4.Allow time off for volunteer work in the community

Staff enjoy working for the practice partly because it fits with their values and beliefs. It’s time to go that step further and allow an afternoon (or even a day) for your them to help in the community they serve by doing some charitable volunteering work. This can be extended further, by letting staff decide upon a local charity or non-profit organisation that deserves a helping hand and then scheduling a day when the whole team will volunteer - a great way to combine charitable work in the community with a team building exercise.

5.Say thank you

This is one motivational method that I included last time, but it’s so important, that I simply can’t write this piece without mentioning it. Take the time to write a thank-you note, send an email, or express gratitude to an employee in a team meeting. According to recent research, nine out of ten employees are more motivated by gratitude and recognition of a job well done than pure financial incentive.

In summary

It doesn’t take a lot of money to keep your employees happy at this time of year, or indeed year-round. Recognise the work ethic that your employees have, and also the values and beliefs that gives them their own personal motivation. Help them to realise how much you value their contribution and make work an integral part of the reason they get up every day. By doing this, you’ll never have to break the bank to keep your employees motivated and happy in their job.

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If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to contact me - alex.henman@esuppliesmedical.co.uk - 01865 261451

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