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Healthcare professionals want to enjoy their work but it seems that there are more and more obstacles getting in their way. Mayo Clinic Proceedings reported the findings from a 3-year study that the work-life balance of physicians in the U.S. is continuing to deteriorate leading to professional burnout.

I often get asked by healthcare professionals to give them the secret ingredient that will help them get motivated or how to keep their employees motivated.

I hear comments like, "Most of us know what we need to do, why don't we just do it?" I chuckle when I hear this because we all know that the only person who can motivate us to do something is ourselves. It's like going to the gym: friends and family can encourage and suggest that we go; however the ultimate decision lies with the individual.

So what is it that gets providers motivated to do the behaviors required to have success in their jobs? Many people believe that money is the biggest motivator. I challenge that belief because there are many other motivators that healthcare professionals have told me over the years. Things such as:

• To gain the respect and loyalty of the doctors in the practice.

• To be acknowledged as an A-player.

• To be promoted to a leadership role.

• To keep a job they enjoy doing so they can support their family.

• To be included in decision making for the practice.

Certainly some personal goals take money, however, the reason the person does what they do is because of their love or commitment to something other than money. The money is the means by which they can accomplish their goals.

Here are some suggestions on how to motivate yourself and your employees:

• Determine what motivates you to do the things you do.

• Focus on the areas where you and your employees feel empowered or can control outcomes.

• Figure out what your personal goals are and what the personal goals of your employees are. You're more likely to be motivated to do whatever it takes daily to ensure you can achieve your personal goals.

• Establish daily behaviors and follow them.

• Develop an accountability plan and implement it.

• Track your daily behaviors – perhaps by journaling.

• Reward yourself for achieving what you set out to do.

You’ve probably heard it said before, “If you want something to get done, give it to a busy person.” Why is that true? A person who is not busy has enough time to think, “I can always get that done later.” A busy person, on the other hand, says, “I better get this done now, or it’s not happening!” The non-busy person is usually working for someone else’s goals or responding to someone else’s emergency. By contrast, a person who is busy has typically planned out the day to the minute. That doesn’t mean the busy person is selfish. Far from it. The busy person’s plan usually includes specific ideas about the very best ways to give others what they want. What’s different is that the busy person has a game plan that corresponds to an important personal goal. If you ask this person, “What’s in it for you today at work?”, you’re going to get a clear answer.

Do you have personal goals for yourself in your role as a healthcare professional? Have you considered how you might be able to reach those goals if you helped others (patients, coworkers, managers, shareholders, doctors) reach theirs? It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the owners and stakeholders of a medical practice have the goal of running a profitable business by delivering a wow! experience to a maximum number of patients each week. How does your answer to the question, “What’s in it for me?” support and align with that kind of big organizational goal? 
Here are a few examples to consider:

• Volunteer to mentor an employee who is struggling, for whatever reason, with the goal of delivering a wow! experience.

• Implement daily or weekly “huddles” with the team to reinforce patient-care best practices.

• Write a short blurb for your company newsletter or internal website about a wow! Experience you witnessed at your practice.

• Be a role model for how to deliver an exceptional patient experience.

The reason for accomplishing goals as well as the motivation to do your job has to come from within. Working with a professional coach to help you change your behavior to achieve your goals is just like hiring a personal trainer to get fit. Are you ready to commit to the change that will make you the best and avoid professional burnout? Contact us for a complimentary 20-minute coaching session.


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