Turnover Trouble Part 3: How to create a happy, motivating practice

Is this your first time reading our Turnover Trouble series? Don’t miss parts one and two—they’re full of helpful tips to avoid turnover by hiring employees who will fit in seamlessly with the rest of your team and giving them the resources they need to successfully transition into their new role.

Once you’ve got your team fully in place, running on all cylinders with satisfied patients moving smoothly in and out of the office, it’s time to ensure that team you’ve so carefully crafted remains motivated and productive. To avoid turnover in your practice you need to actively keep it at bay, not treat it like a one and done project you can put on the shelf until you’re forced to address it again by someone leaving.

To accomplish this, you need to think about all the factors that contribute to the morale of your team and how you can positively influence them to create an office culture designed to motivate employees and keep them excited about their work. This is the third key to minimizing turnover in your office. It can be broken down into these five simple tips.

  1. Continue to train
    Whether an employee has been with the practice for a few months or a few decades, ensuring they have opportunities to grow in their profession is a surefire way to keep them motivated and enthusiastic about their work. Adding new techniques or additional responsibilities (as long as they don’t overload their schedule!) can keep their job feeling fresh and will reinforce the fact that they are an asset to your practice.
  2. Focus on happiness
    This might sound obvious, but if employees aren’t happy while working (excluding the bad days everyone has now and then) eventually it will lead to turnover. Placing too much emphasis on goals and productivity can lead to burned out employees who don’t want to try anymore. Avoid this by making an effort to incorporate some fun into the office. Small gestures like starting your Monday morning huddle with sharing highlights from the weekend can go a long way to creating a less “all work, no play” culture.
  3. Show appreciation
    Even the most selfless individuals need to feel appreciated to work to their full potential. Take the time to thank them for the hard work they do every day. Offer a compliment on their work with a particularly anxious patient or praise them helping another staff member. It’s important to avoid only giving feedback when they make a mistake. You might think everyone on the team knows they’re appreciated, but the difference between simply not saying anything negative and actually saying something positive is like night and day. Never doubt the power of saying “thank you.”
  4. Encourage relationships
    People generally spend more time with their work family than their actual family, so fostering positive relationships in the office goes a long way towards minimizing the chance for turnover. People want to feel like they belong, so encouraging employees to bond increases their loyalty to their team and the office. It gives a sense of comfort that they won’t have if they decide to take a position somewhere else. Create opportunities for team bonding, such as trips to CE events or monthly lunches, which demonstrate you value their relationships and teamwork.
  5. Offer fair compensation
    Another obvious one, yes, but using a site like salary.com to make sure you offer competitive compensation could be the difference between keeping your best employee and having them run to the practice across town. Then assess what other benefits you are—or should be—offering. Things like paid vacation and sick time, insurance, and retirement savings plans add extra incentives for employees to stick with your practice instead of looking elsewhere for what they’re missing.

Avoiding turnover isn’t terribly complicated if you remember these five tips. It just takes a little planning and dedication to make sure your team members have the positive environment they need to do their best work.