Effective Motivation And Delegation Techniques
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2001
Mark Opperman
United States

I.   What Is Motivation?

A.   Motivation vs. “Fear”

II.   Factors That Must Be Present In Order For A Person To Be Motivated

A.   Fulfillment of one’s basic needs

B.   Healthy work environment

C.   Security in one’s employment

D.   Knowledge and ability to do the job required

1.   Effective hiring and training procedures

E.   Knowledge of the practice’s employee policies and procedures

1.   Employee manual

III.   Is Money A Motivator?

A.   Can money be used as a motivator?

B.   Six factors that can outweigh salary

IV.   Motivational Techniques

A.   Basic tenet: “Treat employees in the same manner as you would wish to be treated.”

B.   Positive reinforcement

1.   The strongest motivator you have at your disposal

2.   Verbal

3.   Non-verbal

4.   Frequency

C.   Negative reinforcement

1.   Is this a motivational technique?

D.   Job enrichment

E.   Incentive programs

1.   Targeted incentive programs

2.   General incentive programs based on:

a.   Performance

b.   Profitability of practice

3.   Employee must have or know the direct relationship

F.   Staff meetings

1.   How to hold staff meetings that build morale and result in positive momentum

G.   Continuing education

1.   In-service meetings

2.   Educational seminars

H.   Involve staff in the decision-making process

1.   Incorporation of new projects into the practice

I.   Standardized employee evaluation and performance reviews

1.   Must be accomplished in a timely manner

2.   Employees’ knowledge of criteria

3.   Use of effective evaluation form

4.   Open discussion

5.   Results of evaluation

J.   Open door policy

1.   Effective communication

2.   Understanding an employee’s position

K.   Twenty low-cost activities to boost staff morale

L.   Six commonly ignored “secrets” for keeping employees motivated

V.   Delegation—A Key To Success

A.   Why is delegation so important?

1.   Must we delegate to be effective managers?

B.   Delegate, don’t abdicate

1.   Delegate for efficiency

2.   Selectively delegate

a.   Tasks that should not be delegated

C.   How to delegate effectively

1.   Make sure individual has knowledge and ability to do the job

2.   Individual must have interest in doing the job

3.   Explain task to be accomplished

4.   Make the project their project

5.   Provide support and reference material

6.   Define and state authority necessary to do the job

7.   Establish time table

8.   Provide adequate time to perform the job

9.   Institute automatic feedback controls

10.   Follow-through

11.   Never undermine a delegated responsibility

12.   Use positive reinforcement

D.   Why do some staff members resist having responsibilities delegated to them?

1.   They do not wish to make the necessary decisions involved

2.   They are not sure how much authority they have

3.   They do not feel equipped to handle the work and believe that they do not have enough information or direction

4.   They are not prepared to accept responsibility

5.   They do not see what is in it for them

6.   They have made mistakes in the past that have embarrassed them or made you angry.

7.   They are not aware that you have actually delegated something to them.

8.   They feel that they already have too much to do.

9.   They think the task is inappropriate for their job category or temperament.

E.   Some Common Reasons Why We, As Managers, Fail To Delegate

1.   You feel that you must do everything and think that no one else can do it as well.

2.   You may lack confidence in your staff.

3.   You might be a perfectionist.

4.   You might not like change.

5.   You may have an inferiority complex.

F.   Must We Delegate For Success?

1.   Positive results for effective delegators

2.   Negative effects

G.   How Do You Rate As a Delegator?

Answer The Following Questions With A Yes Or No:
1.                                                    6.                                                        
2.                                                 7.                                                        
3.                                                 8.                                                        
4.                                                 9.                                                        
5.                                                 10.                                                      

O I am very effective at delegating

O I am not delegating as much work as I should

O I am an ineffective delegator and must work on delegating many unnecessary chores that are slowing me down.

Tasks That Should Not Be Delegated

1.   The Signing of Business Checks

2.   The Final Word on Collection

3.   Spot Checking on Financial or Personnel Records

4.   All Patient Relation Duties

5.   Making the Final Decision on Major Management Policy

Six Commonly Ignored “Secrets” for Keeping Employees Motivated

1.   Never Oversell a Job

2.   Keep Assistants Informed

3.   Keep Vertical Channels of Communication Open and Clear

4.   Keep Jobs Challenging

5.   Encourage Self-Improvement and Create Opportunities for Advancement

6.   Finally, Make Sure Employees Know Exactly What is Expected of Them

Twenty Low Cost Activities to Boost Staff Morale

1.   Send a letter of commendation to a staff member for performance above and beyond normal expectations

2.   Provide lunch for all employees on the last working day before a holiday

3.   Provide staff with fresh fruit or other foods for snacking during breaks

4.   Buy corsages for staff on special occasions

5.   Send a card to each staff member on their birthday

6.   Invite part-time employees to all staff social events

7.   Write personal messages such as “Thank You” or “Happy Birthday” on payroll checks

8.   Work side-by-side with staff once a year (or more often) on a community help project

9.   Personally introduce new hires to each staff member

10.   Greet each staff member at the start and end of each day

11.   Send a card to each staff member on his/her anniversary

12.   Hold morale building meetings to inform staff of your practice’s success

13.   Reward staff who miss one day or less during the year due to illness or injury

14.   Buy a vase for your business assistant’s desk and provide fresh flowers on a surprise basis

15.   In each month that new patients exceed an established figure, take all employees out to dinner

16.   Hold an annual staff appreciation party

17.   Give a small gift to an employee each time a patient makes a positive comment about him/her

18.   Plan a staff social event at which you do the cooking and serving (picnic, barbecue, etc.)

19.   Give a reception for every employee who retires

20.   Design an “Employee of the Year” plaque for your reception area

Six Factors That Can Outweigh Salary

1.   Agreeable Working Conditions

2.   Recognition

3.   Fringe Benefits

4.   Lifestyle

5.   Challenge

6.   Fulfillment

Job Features —Do you know what your employees rank #1?

Here’s an interesting test you and your employees can take to determine if you share the same values regarding work. Ask staff members to rank the following items according to the importance they attach to them. Then, rank the items according to the importance you think your staff attaches to them. Compare and discuss. (1 = high; 8 = low)

Staff Ranking  Job Feature Doctor Ranking
                         Credit for Work Done                       
                       Interesting Work                       
                       Fair Pay                        
                       Counsel Problems                       
                       Promotion on Merit                       
                       Good Work Conditions                       
                       Job Security                       
Speaker Information
(click the speaker's name to view other papers and abstracts submitted by this speaker)

Mark Opperman
United States

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