Reviews keep employees on track

Why do some employees love their jobs and give them a 110 percent effort, while others view their jobs as "just a paycheck" and do only the minimum required of them? Among the considerations: How well are employees` job-related needs met by the work itself? The better the match, the better the outcome and level of employee motivation.

May 1st, 1997

Bob Levoy

Why do some employees love their jobs and give them a 110 percent effort, while others view their jobs as "just a paycheck" and do only the minimum required of them? Among the considerations: How well are employees` job-related needs met by the work itself? The better the match, the better the outcome and level of employee motivation.

I previously have discussed the importance of interesting and challenging work, as well as having a say in matters pertaining to work and autonomy. Another frequently expressed employee need is "management that provides performance feedback."

The four-word question every employee wants answered is: "How am I doing?" Yet, our surveys indicate many dental-office personnel are completely in the dark about such matters. The result? Motivated employees, not knowing if their efforts to do a good job are noticed, let alone appreciated, tend to become discouraged and demotivated. Less capable employees, without the benefit of constructive feedback, tend to become complacent and believe "good enough is good enough." In both cases, the dentist-employer loses.

Action steps: Schedule periodic performance reviews for each employee. Let people know how they`re doing on the job, where they have succeeded, where they have failed, and how they can improve. Properly utilized, such reviews are one of the most potent ways to improve morale, productivity, and help employees reach their full potential.

Even simpler: spend a few minutes a day giving specific, direct feedback with an emphasis on praise for a job well done or going the extra mile on a task. Studies show an emphasis on praise (vs. criticism) has a much stronger effect on a person`s motivation and job performance.

Next month, the fourth and final part of this series: the serious benefits of adding a sense of fun to the work environment.

Bob Levoy is a marketing consultant, seminar speaker, and writer based in Roslyn, NY. To order his new book, "101 Secrets of a High-Performance, Dental Practice," call PennWell Books, (800) 752-9764.

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