Home  Library   Practice Management & Marketing   Team Recognition From The Heart

Team Recognition From The Heart

By: Tammara Plankers

Knowing that one's contributions truly matter to the business can have a considerable impact on employee satisfaction and performance. Appropriate monetary reward is certainly important, but it is not the only motivator in job performance. Employees may value sincere recognition for their achievements above monetary compensation or rewards. They may respond to praise, appreciation, and real opportunities for growth and development with an even greater level of productivity and commitment. The trick is to know when and how to give recognition so that it is effective.

When to acknowledge performance

An effort worthy of recognition goes above and beyond the everyday expectations of the job. Praising employees for simply doing their job properly may undermine the value of the recognition program. Instead, acknowledge performance that demonstrates a high level of commitment- such as hanging in there for extra-long hours in an emergency, or cleaning up a backlog of paperwork in the office.

Also recognize those employee accomplishments that make a meaningful contribution towards meeting your business goals, such as successfully completing a marketing program that brings in more clients, or improving the scheduling program to increase overall productivity.

Consider using your morning team meeting to deliver employee recognition if it's appropriate. It can mean a great deal to team members to be recognized in front of their peers, and motivate others to improve their performance in order to achieve similar acknowledgement.

How to deliver employee recognition

Useful and sincere recognition can be accomplished in less than five minutes, yet leave an impact that can be long-lasting and mutually rewarding. Try these five tips to effectively express your heartfelt appreciation to employees:

  1. Be timely. Catch your team members doing exceptional work and acknowledge their efforts on the spot. Don't delay in delivering your praise. In a busy practice, a quick "Wow, great job there!" can be very effective in keeping up morale and encouraging continued good work.
  2. Get specific. Perhaps your employee succeeded in getting a difficult patient to commit to treatment, or negotiated a better price for supplies. If possible, go beyond the quick "Good job" and be specific and descriptive in your praise. This tells your employee you fully grasp and appreciate their accomplishment. For example: "Great work with Mrs. Smith. She's resisted that important treatment for Lassie for a long time, and you did a terrific job getting her on board."
  3. Be personal. Formal rewards programs, such as gift certificates for eliciting referrals, have their place, but also may remove the human touch from your acknowledgement. Whether delivered in person or in a handwritten note, it can mean more to your employees than hearing personally from you that they are recognized and valued.
  4. Stay positive. Do not use recognition of great performance as an opportunity to throw in a little criticism. This undermines the value of the praise. Save the critique for a performance review or disciplinary session, if needed, and stick to the immediate acknowledgement for work exceptionally well done.
  5. Be genuine. Praise doesn't really mean much if it isn't sincere. If you cannot deliver recognition with an authentic, heartfelt degree of enthusiasm, then don't offer it at all. Your employees can tell whether or not your praise is truly genuine.

In short, employee recognition is an effective tool for improving employee morale and commitment, building teamwork, and instilling loyalty. Make recognition of your employees a common and sincere part of your management role, and your team will thank you for it in ways that will benefit both you and your practice.

About the Author

Tammara is a Certified Healthcare Business Consultant with over twenty years of experience in consulting and training. At Wells Fargo Practice Finance she heads the internal consulting team, Practice Management Group and helps hundreds of new practice owners each year as they transition into ownership or launch their new practice. She can help practice owners understand and manage cash flow to reach profitability. Tammara has a Bachelor's degree in journalism, is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants, the National Society of Certified Healthcare Business Consultants and a graduate of Purdue University?s Veterinary Management Institute. Contact: tammara.plankers@wellsfargo.com or 1-800-326-0376

View all articles by Tammara Plankers


Want more strategies for practice success?

The best way for us to help you meet your needs is to hear about them directly from you. If there's a business, financial or practice-related topic you're interested in, let us know. We'll do our research and get back to you.

The articles and materials on the Wells Fargo Practice Finance website are provided for general information only and do not constitute, nor are they intended as, a substitute for consultation with accounting, tax, legal or other professional advisors. Wells Fargo makes no representation regarding the articles available in the Strategies for Success Library or the completeness or accuracy of the information contained therein. The articles and the information contained therein may be incomplete, may contain errors or may have become out of date. Wells Fargo makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of the articles or materials in the Strategies for Success Library.

The views expressed in the articles are those of the authors alone. They may or may not reflect the views or opinions of Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

ADA® is a registered trademark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a service mark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a program brought to you by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Practice Finance is the only practice and commercial real estate lender recommended for members of the American Dental Association.

ADA® is a registered trademark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a service mark of the American Dental Association. ADA Member Advantage is a program brought to you by ADA Business Enterprises, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Dental Association.

All financing is subject to credit approval.

Wells Fargo Stagecoach Logo