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Recognition and rewards increase productivity at Maryland practice

“As an office manager for over 12 years, I started to see some burnout in our long-term employees, who I did not want to lose,” says Denise Genuit, practice administrator at University of Maryland Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Associates.

She tells Medical Office Manager she needed to find a significant way to improve productivity and get staff to exert more effort.

At the same time, because of the economy, large increases in pay aren’t a good solution because they make it impossible to maintain overhead costs.

So Genuit implemented a program the practice calls “applause.”

“How it works is any employee, doctor, patient or myself can nominate an employee for applause when they do something beneficial in the office,” she says.

She gives these categories as examples: save money for the practice, go above and beyond in patient care, and do something out of the ordinary that defines a staff member’s work ethic.

The action is first identified. For example, the practice’s Spanish speaking assistant translated all of the office’s internal forms to Spanish during her downtime of her own accord. In another instance, a patient wrote a nice letter to the practice complimenting a staff member.

Genuit then writes a staff member’s accomplishment on a list and, at the end of the monthly or bi-weekly staff meeting, whoever has been noticed receives “applause,” which includes a fun pin for their desk or lanyard, as well as $25.00 added to their paycheck.

“I believe it makes employees strive to be better and come up with ways to be noticed in a positive light. Additionally the staff seems to enjoy the applause at the end of a sometimes grueling staff meeting,” Genuit says.

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