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  • Michelle Shimmin

The Power of Positive Recognition: Tips for Motivating Your Team in 2019

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

Masterminds, we have a topic for discussion and we'd love to hear your input! We’re interested in ideas and feedback from actual orthodontic practices, managers, and employees!

At Shimmin Consulting, we train the leaders within the orthodontic practice to "highlight" star employees in morning huddles and team meetings. As the leader of your practice, you are in a position to either positively or negatively affect your team. To get your team to buy-in, try discussing the plans and goals together, as a team, so everyone can provide feedback and ideas for ways to get to those goals together. Try a “surprise” coffee run, a team outing, or bonding to boost morale and team spirit.

It’s not always easy to know when or how to recognize and praise your employees. Both large and small practices will thrive on the power of positive recognition. Your team needs to know you care about them and one of the easiest ways to communicate that is by offering praise. Though rewarding excellent performance should be a goal, don’t overlook steady and consistent good work throughout your daily routines. Sincere compliments have the power to increase productivity, performance, and morale and are a testament to true leadership. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re not missing any opportunities to reward those on your team who deserve it!

Be like Nike: JUST DO IT! Make a habit of catching your employees doing something right and let them know about it right away. Keep your eyes open every day and identify ample opportunities to recognize your team. Positivity exudes positivity.

Make time to find the good in your employees. It’s hard to recognize anyone if you don’t step away from your desk. Schedule time to walk through your office and check out what’s happening with your team. If a team member is doing something particularly good, let them know about it. Recognition is powerful.

Honest praise is a mindset. Praise only works if it's sincere and authentic. Cheap flattery makes you look manipulative and shows you lack integrity. You must constantly be looking for the positive in your employees and team. Of course, everyone needs constructive criticism at certain times. But that will come naturally; if you see a damaging behavior that begs correcting, you'll be moved to address it.

Evaluate each employee’s work and find something you like. Feedback is critical for growth, but framing it in a constructive way is key. It’s easy to find a problem with someone’s project. Unfortunately, if you focus only on what’s wrong, you risk discouraging your team. Take a few extra minutes and identify the positive aspects of their efforts, even if there are negatives that need to be addressed. The more detailed and specific you can be with your language, the better it will be received. If your team knows you’re paying attention to their work – both the good AND the bad – they will appreciate you and continue working hard for you and the team.

Put it in writing. One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the pen. Send hand-written notes or thank you cards to team members who’ve done a great job. Taking the time to get personal goes a long.

Purpose. When you’re working with your team, keep in mind your business' higher purpose. When employees understand why their work matters and how it relates to your office's greater purpose, you tap into their highest level of motivation. Don’t miss out on such an inexpensive way to motivate your team.

These approaches will help to keep your praise fresh and your team inspired. Positivity is as critical as it is contagious – embody it, encourage it, and watch it raise your team to new heights. Let's start off 2019 building your team UP!


Be a part of the conversation!

We believe in the power of collaboration and invite you to contribute thoughts, ideas, and input by joining our private #Orthomasterminds Facebook group at

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