The best employee is a happy employee. We’re all more productive when we’re happy and enjoying what we’re doing. Even as kids the subjects we struggled with were the ones we hated. Once you got yourself to be interested in that subject and started to love it you found it to become a lot easier. The same applies to learning anything and definitely to work. I believe the world would be a much better place if we all did things we loved and that there’s so much unhappiness due to people doing things they don’t enjoy. If you love your job and where you work then that’s going to have a positive impact not just on your job but on also on your life as a whole.
Working in a medical office may not be a lot of fun. Your staff will always have a lot of work to do. Dealing with patients who are suffering and have been waiting to see their doctor isn’t that pleasant either. Then there’s having to call insurance companies in order to make sure payment is received which can’t be much fun. It’s important to keep your employees happy because it creates an overall better atmosphere which will help your entire business and make your patients happier as well. You’re also making the lives of your employees a lot more delightful and they’ll love you for it.
One of the ways to do this is to bring in as much of the outdoors as possible into your office. Of course there are limitations to this for a medical practice due to sanitary reasons and having to worry about the health of your patients as some may not tolerate too much cold or sun. You could achieve this by having large windows that bring in natural sunlight. You may want to get them a little tinted if you’re living in a particularly sunny area though. This will be great especially if the view through the windows is that of a river or a nearby forest. Personally I always prefer to sit by a window than to watch tv if I have to wait my turn somewhere. It’s a lot more interesting and makes the time pass faster. Sunlight and nature also boost everyone’s mood. This isn’t just for your employees who’ll have better spirits but also for your patients. It’ll make their waiting period better and may make them feel better.
Decorating your office in order to make it a more welcoming place is another great idea. It doesn’t have to be one of these modernly decorated offices where everything is cut into perfect shapes and everything is completely plain. It doesn’t have to be too colorful or with bean bags and pillows for seats either. Find something in between in order to make the office a more enjoyable workspace. You should also pay attention to decorating for occasions such as Christmas for example. That would get the entire office into the holiday spirit as well as your patients. You could even see if your employees have any ideas regarding decorating the place and if they’re okay with you then they can apply them. Let them participate in the holiday decorations too. This will get them working together and get their mind off work for a little while every few months. You could decorate for Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving for example. Be careful not to decorate the place too much that it looks to patients like no work gets done around here or spend too much time decorating for the Holidays that it takes some of your employees’ time for work.
Making your staff feel at home will definitely help make the office a fun place to be. Let them participate in the decorations like we said. Allow them to have a picture or two of loved ones for instance. They could bring little things from their homes that make your office a homier place for everyone. If you’re a pediatrician that really works in your favor because they could bring in a few toys.
You also need to show them that you care about them as people and get to know them better outside work as well. This can be achieved by going out together every month for example. Don’t make it a set date every month because then it’ll feel like an obligation or a task. You could tell them that they’ve been doing a good job recently and that you want to take them all out to dinner later that week. You can also take them out on special occasions like on holidays or have little celebrations for their birthdays. Yes you’re spending a little extra money, but you have to realize that this will reflect on your business in a good way. It’s also not a bad way to make a few friends. Going out will also get them to know and understand each other better which will let them work better as a team so think of it as a team building exercise too. If you’ve achieved a certain milestone you’ve been looking forward to or won some kind of award take them out as well. Don’t forget that they’re part of your success and you couldn’t have done it without them. They will feel like they’re actually part of something and that they belong rather than just employees who work for you.
Make sure to give and receive feedback too. Receiving feedback can be a little touchy because people are usually afraid of criticizing the boss, but you can overcome this by making it anonymous. At the end of every 3 months for instance you can hand out feedback forms and ask them to NOT write their names and tell you what they really think. This way you know what you’re doing wrong and how you can improve. You never know, one of them may have been too shy to say an idea that might make business a lot smoother. Why not take advantage of that? You could also give them feedback in order to help them improve their performances, but don’t be too harsh or critical. If you notice an employee isn’t performing as well as they used to simply ask them what’s wrong and make sure everything is okay with them. Offer your help if there’s anything you can do.
Finally we have rewarding employees. You could have a little employee of the month thing going on which will get them to work a little harder and be more competitive. Make sure to not keep giving it to the same person because the others will find it annoying and stop trying altogether. Involve everyone in the contest and maybe give them a little prize or have them suggest their reward. This will make them feel even more involved. This also goes along with taking out everyone every once in a while to reward them for everything they do and to show them you appreciate their efforts.
Basically it’s not hard to have a fun working environment. The problem is that most bosses don’t even try or suppress fun. They do this without realizing that the only thing they’re harming is the business. Why would you deprive a person of happiness? If you do, how can you possibly think it’ll make them work better? You shouldn’t let your employees run wild but allow them some space and freedom. You hired them carefully and chose them so why not trust them a little?
Take them out every month or two, reward them, give them feedback and receive theirs, make the office a cozier place, bringing in as much of the outdoors as possible, and letting them make it homier for them are just a few ideas. What are things that you do in order to make the office a fun place to work?