Getting to the crux of motivation

ONCORE tutor Louise Monsey, who leads two of our Leadership and Management Skills modules, offers us a useful overview of the basics of motivation, and how motivation can help us to achieve team members who work to higher standards, learn faster, have more ideas and are less resistant to change. Sound good? Read on…

Steve Jobs said the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Fantastic! Most people who work in veterinary practice love their jobs right? We certainly don’t get into it for the appealing working hours or the megabucks it makes us. So where does it all go wrong in creating and maintaining a motivated team?

So firstly, what do we mean by ‘motivation’?

Motivation can be defined as a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way, and there can be many factors that influence these reasons.

One of the biggest mistakes that managers make is assuming they know what motivates their employees and generally their assumptions are wrong.

Motives can also be termed as needs, desires, wants or drives; impulses that cause people to act. As leaders, we need to make the connection between the motives of each and every individual within the practice and the motives or goals of the business.

Goal-setting is important in business; to guide the company and employees toward defined objectives and motivation is an internal process that drives us toward those goals. Have we effectively communicated the mission and objectives of the business to the staff?

It is our role and responsibility to create an inspiring vision of the future and motivate our people to buy into and deliver that vision and then to manage that delivery; all the time building and encouraging strong, trusting relationships within the team. Management and leadership are all about inspiring others toward both individual and shared goals.

“..more importantly, motivated staff are happier. “

The bottom line is motivated staff work efficiently; reducing labour costs and resulting in higher productivity for the practice. Perhaps more importantly, motivated staff are happier. They work to higher standards of quality because they care about what they are doing. I truly believe nobody in veterinary practice wants to do a bad job or give anything but their best to the patients in their care but do time, resources, training and communication allow?

Motivated people learn faster, have more ideas and are less resistant to change. They require less supervision and are less likely to make mistakes or get involved in conflict. They have a much more favourable impact on clients; leading to greater loyalty and an improved reputation in a time of increased and determined competition. Lower levels of absenteeism and staff turnover can be expected.

“Motivated staff work to higher standards of quality because they care about what they are doing.”

We probably all already realise the importance of motivation in the workplace and in fact all spheres of life but how is it achieved? As part of our leadership and management skills series, join us for the motivation module to learn more about being an inspirational leader, how to motivate employees, how management style affects motivation and moving into transformational leadership.