Team Motivation

By Victoria Vilas / 01 Dec 2015

Victoria Vilas explains how staff incentives can motivate your team and boost trade

A modern and stylish clinic based at a prestigious address, innovative technology and high-end products are not the only elements necessary for a prosperous aesthetics business. Without a dynamic and productive workforce, your clinic is unlikely to reach its full potential to become an acclaimed name in the industry. As such, a team of dedicated, enthusiastic and skilled staff members are needed to deliver an exceptional service.

Managing competition

The treatment menu that you provide may match other clinic offerings in your region, so in order to stand out from the competition, you must deliver those treatments at the highest possible standard. It is important that you also focus on the customer journey that begins the moment a potential patient first gets in contact, whether by phone or in person. For this reason, it is essential that you pay the same attention to non-clinical staff members as you do to practitioners. Your receptionist or patient coordinator is likely to be the first point of contact for patients, and the quality of that experience could attract or discourage a new patient base. Once your patients arrive for their treatments, you will then need to have highly-skilled clinical staff who can perform procedures at a consistently high level, remaining focussed and attentive to patients at all times.

Look for the passion and enthusiasm that will translate into the motivation to do a great job

When recruiting new staff members, don’t just look at their skills and experience, think about personality, too. Look for the passion and enthusiasm that will translate into the motivation to do a great job. After hiring a team of exceptional staff, you then need to keep them motivated in order to reach your business goals. 

Attainable targets and tangible benefits

Practitioners and clinic staff are likely to be on a basic salary with the chance to increase their earnings through commission or bonuses gained from selling additional treatments or retail products to patients. When setting out the terms of individual commission rates or team bonuses, it is a good idea to think about realistic targets that are achievable. If targets are set so high that your staff members fail to reach them on a regular basis, your team will become disheartened and you will probably find it becomes harder to maintain their enthusiasm for the work in hand. This doesn’t mean you have to set targets so low that you end up paying out more than the business can afford in bonuses. Take time setting out your commission or bonus structure, taking into account both your business profits and the value you should place on high-performing staff.
However, the benefits you provide for your staff don’t have to just be financial. Offering a package that can make staff members feel valued and supported, and a working week that takes into account a healthy work/life balance, will also help to keep your team happy and productive. Don’t overwork your staff with schedules that leave them very little free time, and be fair with their holiday allowance and the flexibility they have to book time off. Pension contributions will soon be a necessity for businesses,1 but you could also consider benefits such as private health insurance and childcare vouchers, or even negotiate discounted rates for the local gym. After all, benefits that help to keep your staff fit and healthy can only benefit the performance of your clinic.

A pleasant working environment

The environment your staff work in, and the other team members they share their day with, will have a big impact on their happiness, and in turn, their productivity. While it may be a rather simple element to consider, try and make sure that all staff members have a comfortable space to work in. You should provide a space for your staff to relax during their breaks as it isn’t always convenient for them to go out of the clinic for their lunch, depending on location and bad weather.
A comfortable, quiet space will allow your staff to recharge during their break times, which will help them to be consistently productive throughout the working day. Also remember to make sure that your staff members do take their breaks, even if you run a very busy clinic. It can become quite common for staff to work through their breaks if they have a heavy workload, however, remember, staff members who become tired and irritable are unlikely to stay motivated and provide the level of service you require of them.
In regards to putting your team together, unfortunately, there is no magic formula for putting a group of people in one place who all get on fantastically well. This doesn’t mean you have to single people out and think about letting them go; instead, try and think of ways to encourage inclusion in your team. Try holding group meetings where every staff member can actively share their opinions, and think about organising group activities or social events you can all enjoy together. If staff members get to know each other away from the stresses of the working day with some fun activities, you’ll probably find that they get on better at work, too.

Effective management and clear communication

The most crucial element to building and maintaining a motivated workforce is how you manage your team. An effective manager will be able to lead and inspire, even if there are no financial incentives or exciting benefits to offer staff. An excellent, communicating manager should stay in touch with their team, holding regular one-to-ones to check on staff performance and ensuring that the team are happy with the workload. Managers don’t have to be best friends with their team, but good communication will ensure that small issues can be identified and dealt with before they become big problems. When staff members understand the importance of a task and exactly how it needs to be carried out, they are likely to be more receptive to your requests. A good manager will explain tasks carefully – if they are simply giving orders to their team, a lack of understanding could make staff members feel unsure of what they are supposed to be doing, and this may not just make them worry, it could also lead to mistakes being made. Make sure your staff members are fully trained in every aspect of their role, and understand your clinic’s protocols and procedures. Empower your staff with the knowledge they need to do their job well, and they will feel far more confident and enthusiastic to carry out set tasks. Good communication isn’t just about informing your staff of the clinic’s performance, it’s also important to make sure you listen to what they have to say. Medical staff and front-of-house teams will have the most contact with your patients, therefore they are likely to have valuable insights into your patient’s likes and dislikes. Your staff can help develop your business and keep it up-to-date with the latest trends. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but you may find that you can learn as much from your team as they do from you. Remember to recognise employees when they have done a good job. Don’t just assume that staff members know when you are happy with their performance – put it into words. You may offer financial incentives for good work, but offering praise will also give your staff a confidence boost, and will make them feel like a valued member of the clinic team. Praise shouldn’t only be given to those who have made big achievements, as team members who may not be the top performers probably need a morale boost more than the high achievers. Think of ways you can encourage all team members equally. You will also have to offer some constructive criticism to your team at certain points, so this praise will help to balance that out, and keep morale up.

Continuing development and staff promotion opportunities

If you want to make sure that your team remains motivated, and that they stay loyal to your clinic as long-term staff members, you must consider their individual career progression, not just the future of your business. Think about where you can offer training that helps your staff members develop their skills, and what opportunities you could offer for promotion. Young, ambitious practitioners and sales staff will not want to stay at the same level forever – they will want to progress to a more senior position and a higher salary. If your clinic has a structure that makes progression impossible, you are likely to have a high turnover of staff, as your team will more than likely look for opportunities elsewhere. This could harm your business, as a constantly changing workforce doesn’t suggest that your business offers any stability or long-term prospects to new team members, and the cycle could continue. 

If you want to make sure that your team remains motivated, and that they stay loyal to your clinic as long-term staff members, you must consider their individual career progression, not just the future of your business 

Retaining your best staff members is crucial to your clinic’s success. Would you rather give an employee a small salary increase, or lose them and their regular patients to a competitor? Think carefully about what you can offer your employees before it becomes too late. While some staff members will be looking for financial rewards, others will be looking to progress to a more senior level, perhaps taking on management responsibilities. Even if you have a clinic manager in place, this does not prevent you from giving others more responsibility. For example, if you have a high-performing aesthetic nurse who appears to have the professionalism to manage others, think about making that person a senior practitioner in title, and giving them the task to train and supervise their juniors. The more staff you have in your clinic, the bigger the workload for your clinic manager, so promoting others to junior management positions could also help your clinic to run more smoothly. 

Conclusion

Whether you are running a startup or a well-renowned clinic, remember that keeping up the level of staff happiness and motivation is an ongoing task that you must consider on a regular basis. The most successful clinics are those that are run by business owners and managers who keep in touch with their staff, so it is imperative to give praise where praise is due, and reward your team for a job well done. With effective and intuitive management, a happy working environment, and a business structure that allows good employees to stay in their positions long-term, you are more likely to have the loyal, professional and enthusiastic team you desire. 

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