I recently downloaded an ebook called “Gamification: Using Game Mechanics to Win at the Game of Work” written by Charles A. Coonradt and Ken Krogue. The following points are my take-aways from this e-book that might apply to healthcare practices and their teams, as well as my additional comments.
No Feedback – No Game
One of the topics is on The Power of Feedback. When you have staff, they need to hear back from you on how they are doing. People don’t ask for feedback for various reasons: (1) Didn’t care for the response last time, (2) No news is good news, (3) Don’t believe they will get an answer, (4) Perceived as a sign of insecurity, and (5) Don’t want to be a wimp.
The reasons why coaches (bosses) don’t provide feedback are: (1) Don’t know how, (2) Not enough time, (3) Doing more important “stuff”, (4) Don’t like the confrontation, and (5) If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all. We have found all of the above to be true in the healthcare practices we are coaching.
Staffs, like athletes, perform better when they know where they stand and when they know the score.
How to Give Good Feedback
- Always reinforce the actions or behaviors you want repeated; remember to over-celebrate and under-criticize.
- The ability to deliver appropriate feedback is the most important human relations skill you can develop. It must empower the employee.
Remember – people would rather get negative feedback than no feedback at all. Silence is not golden. As an example, we once had 2 staff in one of our new client’s practices who complained that their boss never showed any interest in what they were doing or accomplishing or even struggling with. We helped him build up a strong communication interchange with them, for which they were most appreciative.
Understanding the Game
While it is important to train your staff for their positions and how you want the practice systems and structure to be, you will find that they especially work well when they understand WHY things are done that way. That way they can grow and innovate and help take your practice to new heights. As often as possible, let your staff choose what actions to take to handle various situations. Having personal choice also engages them in the growth process.
There are many ways of rewarding awesome production. Most of them have little to do with money (though that is ALWAYS appreciated). Earning a half day off or a spa treatment or Staff Member of the Week Award would all be motivators to your excellent staff who are interested in reaching the goals of the practice.
Also, bonus systems should be as near to immediate as possible (weekly or monthly) to thank the team for the excellent care and service they just delivered. Bonuses given based on objective management (rather than a subjective basis) are more productive as well.
Make the workplace fun, help your staff evolve, show your appreciation and watch your practice grow!
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