You’ve hired employees and work is getting done. That’s all that matters, right? It’s a myth that people will go above and beyond if they feel appreciated – you know your workers are just here for a paycheck.

Do you have a bright-eyed, energized individual on your payroll who is excited to be part of your team? One who loves their job and is fully on-board with the mission of serving your patients. Act fast! They need a reality check. If you want to crush their spirits and see their motivation crash into the ground in record time, follow these easy step

Cut their pay

I don’t just mean by a couple of dollars per hour because their responsibilities have changed. I mean really cut their pay. By 20 – 40%. You don’t want to take them below minimum wage, of course, but the closer you can get to it, the better. When you do it, make sure you give them a reason that will make them feel like they’re taking one for the team – like, you’ve made some bad financial decisions and just can’t afford to pay them their market value because you have bills to pay at home. Bonus points if you promise to increase their pay again when business picks up and then concoct a few more excuses when that time comes.

Only value your producers

It takes a team to run a practice… but your producers are really the only employees that matter, right? If an employee doesn’t directly make you money, they’re not contributing anything of significance to your practice. If your goal is to leave your administrative employees completely demotivated, make sure they know that you don’t really count them as a valued team member. For greater effect, complain about how much they cost you.

Micromanage them

You should never trust a great employee to manage tasks on their own, accurately report their time, or have access to the tools they need to do their job. Treat them as if you think they’re stealing from you and need their hand held every hour of the workday.

Take away all interesting work or opportunities

Not every day has to be exciting. Some days, there’s just work that needs to get done. However, if you really want to demotivate a great employee – especially one who is achievement-motivated and loves accomplishing challenging tasks – make sure the opportunities for interesting work are few and far between.

Eliminate the perks

Do you provide coffee in the break room? Let your team use your printer for personal printing on occasion? Add benefits like extra PTO or perks like prime parking spaces for employees who stay with your practice the longest? Cut them! Give a transparent excuse like “for workflow purposes” that doesn’t have anything to do with your reason for eliminating these perks.

Be passive aggressive

No need to address issues with your employees in a professional, mature, direct manner. Avoidance is key if you want your great employees to have zero motivation. Conflict is too risky; just make up some excuses to evade any real problems. If you want to take it one step further…

Give them the silent treatment

Make sure they know just how insignificant you feel they are and don’t acknowledge them when they walk in the door. Only communicate with them when there’s a legitimate business need, via a chat program if you can. You pay them to be in your office. No need to exert any effort to make them feel welcome.

Refuse – or forget – to acknowledge their accomplishments or longevity

“Oh, has it really been that long? Huh. Congrats, I guess.” – what every great employee wants to hear on their fifth work anniversary. Don’t bother trying to remember birthdays either. That’s personal stuff, great employees should just leave that at home.

You also should make it a habit to ignore any accomplishments, personal or professional. Reached your new patient goal for the month? Completed a start-to-finish transition from paper to EMR? That’s what you hired them for, no need to thank them. Hang a few motivational posters to make them feel better. Or, another tactic…

False gratitude

Tell your great employee how much you appreciate them but make it insincere thanks. Actions speak louder than words, so they’ll know you don’t really mean it – but say it anyway so they might be placated long enough to stay in their position until you’ve found a replacement for them.

Ensure your potentially great employees do the absolute bare minimum for you by implementing these simple demotivation tactics. Or, if you’ve realized this is a satire piece, check out this article on ways to seriously motivate and retain your talented team members!

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