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How to motivate your team creatively

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”

John D. Rockefeller

Motivation is the drive or inner desire to achieve something great, either in your personal or work life.

You are driven to reach a goal, whether it’s to make someone smile that day or to complete a major 6-month long project.

Motivation in the healthcare environment is essential for maintaining optimal levels of job satisfaction and quality patient care. Without it, care for the job and care for the patients tumbles down this metaphorical spiral and the entire team suffers. 

There are many reasons why motivation among healthcare team members may fluctuate, and company management shouldn’t expect motivation to stay at a 100% success rate.

Healthcare employees will have their good and their bad days, certain factors that will affect their work performance that managers and company executives are unable to control.

However, there are many ways for CEOs and other company executives to motivate their team and keep their spirits high during work hours. 

In this article, we are going to explore the reasons why motivation may be low among team members and how company executives can keep work motivation running high. 

What are some reasons motivation would be low among team members?

Let’s take a look at the following scenario:

Sharif works on a rehabilitation team in an assisted living centre. Recently, two of his team members quit, including his rehab manager. He is now adjusting to two new team members as well as some new policy changes for the company. He’s used to having certain tasks done a certain way, but now has to negotiate with his new team members to make them feel welcome. The department is also cutting back on funds for new gym equipment, which restricts the types of treatment he can provide for his patients. Lately, Sharif has felt very little motivation to do his best at work. 

There are multiple reasons for why motivation may run dry among team members in healthcare:

  • Company policy changes that aren’t well received
  • Cuts in funding
  • Lack of recognition for hard work
  • Poor work environment
  • Adjusting to new team members
  • Difficult patients or clientele
  • Work burnout
  • No room for development or growth
  • No leadership opportunities
  • No trust between employees or management

For healthcare teams to succeed, it’s essential for team leaders and management to identify those problems and have open, honest discussions with their employees to initiate change.

What are the rewards for keeping healthcare team motivation high?

When a healthcare team is motivated to career out their job responsibilities, not only efficiently, but with the best of their abilities, then the entire team and patient caseload benefits. Here are just a few rewards that you may notice from keeping team motivation running high:

  • Job satisfaction
  • Job retention
  • Patient satisfaction (and family member satisfaction)
  • Increased productivity
  • Increased team engagement
  • Increased innovation
  • Company and team goals are met

Motivational Quotes

Motivational quotes that hit hard are an excellent tool that can stimulate dormant motivation among healthcare team members, so here are a few tips to consider when implementing them:

  • Use quotes that express or emulate initiative
  • Use quotes that are relevant to the healthcare profession
  • Use good quotes that positively affect everyone on the team
  • Apply quotes using multiple mediums (spoken, written, display, etc.)

CEOs and company executives should spend time getting to know their healthcare team members before dishing out quotes at a company meeting.

That way, they can get a feel for each team members’ personalities, tastes, etc. Not everyone will be reciprocative to the corny quotes, just as not everyone will enjoy funny inspirational quotes.

Take the time to get to know your team and their preferred flavors. To help you get started, here are a few healthcare-related motivational quotes:

 If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. –

Damon Richards

Wherever the art of Medicine is loved, there is also a love of Humanity.


To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 We should work to guarantee that there is a midwife or health worker by every woman’s side during childbirth.

Liya Kebede

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.

Helen Keller

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others.

Lewis Carol

Team Building exercises

Schedule team building exercises during paid lunch hours or lunch meetings.

Team building exercises help team members to get to know each other better, especially new versus older team members. Select exercises that:

  • Aren’t going to embarrass anyone
  • Are fun, motivational, and reflective
  • Allow for open conversation

Select games, challenges, or exercises that allow for each team member to notice each other’s strengths and what skills they can contribute to the overall healthcare team. 

Employee Mingles or Meet-ups

Allow opportunities for your team members to get to know each other on a social level.

Schedule company barbecues, picnics, banquets, social lunch meetings, holiday parties, etc. Many of your team members only communicate in passing due to their busy work schedules.

Being able to get to know team members on a personal level may instigate a higher level of trust and understanding amongst employees, creating a friendlier work environment. 

Take a look at the following scenario:

Sharif has been trying to make efforts to get to know his new team members better, one a new manager and another a new occupational therapist. Unfortunately, everyone’s caseloads are so busy that they only see each other in passing or if they need to consult about a patient they share. The company CEO arranges for a team picnic where team members and their family members are invited. At the picnic, Sharif gets to know his new team members a little better. The new manager is a single mom of two college kids and the OT has a wife and six kids. They all have many interests in common. Sharif notices an improvement in the work environment after the picnic. 

Building Trust

Trust between company executives and clinical healthcare teams may be limited, simply because there’s such restricted contact.

Both teams are quite busy with their job-related duties. In some cases, trust has been broken when company policies have changed without notice, promises have been broken, etc.

CEOs and company executives can make efforts to foster trust between them and their clinicians by being present, available, and honest. Although you may be busy, part of your job is to regularly communicate with your employees.

Make yourself available by email as well as in person. Allow your employees to put a face and a personality to their boss. 

Giving opportunities for Leadership

If healthcare team members come to work expecting to be told what to do in every aspect of their job for years to come, this can become incredibly unmotivating and decrease job satisfaction.

Allow for opportunities for your employees to grow by providing leadership responsibilities. Examples may include leading:

  • Committees
  • Seminars
  • Trainings
  • Event planning tasks
  • Equipment budgeting
  • Auditing tasks

Get creative with the leadership tasks and delegate accordingly.

As mentioned earlier, certain employees take to certain flavours and tastes. Get to know your team and see what leadership opportunities would be a right fit. 

Modifying the work environment

If the clinical area looks like a Cold War bunker, then this could drastically de-motivate the team.

Allow team members to have a say in interior design of their workspace, within reason.

Let them express some personality so that other team members can ask them questions about their lives and express interest in getting to know each other better.

Encourage members to keep the workspace clean and organized. 

Recognize achievements

Regularly recognize your team’s achievements, on a team level and on an individual level. Award them for their hard work, whether it’s through bonuses, discounts, prizes, etc. Make sure others notice their achievements as well. 

Reiterate the company vision and goals

If your team doesn’t know what they are working for or why they are showing up to work everyday, this can also deter their overall motivation.

Every once in a while, reiterate the company’s missions, values, and goals during team meetings, in person, or by email. Keep the company mission on posters, on employee tags, or other items throughout the clinic. 


CEOs and other company executives can improve job satisfaction, patient care, and job retention at healthcare facilities by creatively motivating their team members.

Motivational quotes, recognizing achievements, establishing trust, reiterating company goals, and bringing the team together are among several ways to foster motivation. 

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