• leadership
  • motivation
  • satisfaction

When the motive no longer generates motivation, what is the role of the Leader?

It is not infrequent to watch opening news about the retention of health professionals.

Ana Rita Ramalho

While it is true that we often identify remuneration as the source of the problem, in making this assumption we may make the mistake of missing a window of opportunity for a mindset shift: the motivation of our healthcare professionals.

It is precisely this motivation that is truly responsible for closing the gap between what we can do and what we usually do. Regardless of how talented a person may be, there is no guarantee that their talent will translate into productivity unless there is a real investment in motivating each team member. It is precisely here that the leader must take action.

Some questions to teammates, simply and directly as:

a) Do you like your work?,

b) Does your work make you feel fulfilled?,

c) Do you feel that higher decisions affect the way you work?,

d) Do you think your teammates work well together?

allow the leader not to confuse or ignore different sources of demotivation in his team members. Having made the diagnosis, it is now important to enable this leader to act individually in motivating each colleague.

What if, before moving on, we challenged you to assume your role as a leader - formal or informal - to tackle the demotivation of your team. Would you accept the challenge?

When facing a demotivated colleague due to intrinsic factors intrinsic - questions a) and b) - promoting his involvement in the job and helping him finding his personal balance are critical. You can do this by emphasizing the role he plays in caring for and improving patient's well-being, as well as by offering him regular support when dealing with problems related to patient's health. For example, creating a period in the weekly schedule to listen to team members can be a very useful tool for managing the potential impacts of intrinsic factors on their motivation.

On the other hand, when demotivation comes mostly from extrinsic or organizational factors - question c) and d) - promote an engaged team - valueing individual input and ideas in pursuit of common goals - and invest time explaining how new organizational processes and behaviors may help in providing better care. The timely presentation of changes to be implemented, the clarification of doubts and issues, and the collection of suggestions and ideas, in a meeting with all affected team members, is one of the strategies you can use to manage the challenges posed by extrinsic factors.

Celebrating results as a whole

And why is this relevant? Is it just for the sake of employee satisfaction and involvement?

No. Above all, it is important to talk about motivation because today we know that motivation is directly linked to the quality of care provided, the performance of the team and the organization, and patient's experience and safety. If it becomes clear for all of us, then the motivation of health professionals will be a priority assumed by all: us, our leaders and our organizations.

A leader who not only does not forget, but prioritizes the motivation of his employees, is fostering a sense of belonging. It is leading an organization in which employees are proud of their work's contribution to the organization, and in which they will continue for many years to come.

Is it then to motivated or demotivated professionals that we want to deliver our health and the health of our National Health Service? The challenge is clear. The action will depend on the reader and we will be here to help him.

Ana Rita Ramalho

Medical Doctor