From Motivation to Dedication


Can you create motivation in your clinic staff which will lead to near-perfect dedication?

 What if your veterinary clinic paid the highest wages in town?  Once the word got around. wouldn’t potential employees flock to your door?

In David Mamet’s play, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” the sales staff is awarded a top-line Cadillac to the best salesman, a set of steak knives is awarded to the second best, and a notice to be fired goes to the third place winner.  The results?  Disastrous!

Studies on staff motivation caution us that increased salary and gifts are not very high motivators. Psychologist, Abraham Maslow, says they appeal only to our physiological needs and are low in his Hierarchy of Needs model. 

Frederick Herzberg, who studied what motivate employees defined those elements that provide employee satisfaction as well as those that lead to dissatisfaction:

Leading to Dissatisfaction:

*Certain policies in your clinic

*Supervision – negative style and approach

*A poor relationship one established with his supervisor

*Unpleasant working conditions.  It is clean? safe? attractive? comfortable?

*In adequate salary

*Poor relationship with team members

Leading to Satisfaction:

*Achievement opportunities


*Satisfying work in and of Itself


*Opportunity for advancement

*Opportunity for growth

Note, the list of items that may lead to dissatisfaction includes money.  Those items that lead to satisfaction deal mostly with the psychological needs to achieve and grow (the higher needs on Maslow’s hierarchy).

 To create motivation you want to focus on those items that lead to satisfaction. A “pat on the back” and compliment is always in order for work well done and good service rendered.  Regular evaluations that start with “How is it going for you? How can I help? can lead to training or coaching that will provide team members with an opportunity to learn, grow, achieve and advance.  Plan to find a way to work together to do what’s best for the team. That will motivate your employees.  Motivated employees can become dedicated to your clinic’s values.

That’s it for today, from

Drs. Carolyn Shadle and John Meyer

P.S. This is the second in a series on changing the culture in your clinic.  Click on the FEEDBURNER icon (on the upper right hand of the homepage) to get future blogs into your mailbox.


ICS WorkplaceCommunication, Carolyn Shadle, PhD, and John Meyer, PhD


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