Inside Dental Technology
January 2019
Volume 10, Issue 1

Motivation and Goal Setting

Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT

As the festivities of the holiday season are behind us and we embark on another exciting and positive new year, it is now time to shift our focus and assess the success of our goals from last year, as well as reestablish a strategic plan of goals for the year ahead. Setting clearly identifiable, achievable, and timely goals for both yourself and your laboratory will provide for an easier way to realize those goals and ultimately success. Creating a strategic plan and establishing goals can be analogous to taking a road trip—we all know where we are now, so we need to set a final destination to track our progress. Not establishing goals is similar to getting in a car and driving aimlessly without any direction or end point in mind; getting to a desirable destination is almost impossible.

There are numerous methods of working up a timely and measurable strategic plan—whether it be an organic business plan, a vivid vision plan, vision board, or any method you prefer; all will afford you and your business with a clear and concise road map to achieving success. One way to develop a strategic plan is by using the Motivation & Goal Setting Theory, developed by psychologist Edwin A. Locke, PhD (insidedentaltech.com/idt1059). Locke asserts that without the most basic goals, employees wouldn't see any purpose to holding a job or even showing up. Business owners and management teams that develop clear, identifiable, complex, and effective goals boost their employees' performance and their business's profits and growth. The core take-aways and practices originating from the principles of Locke's theory are that a plan needs to have clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback, and complexity.

These goals are best facilitated by significant team member buy-in. If the employees and management participate in the construction of the plan, everyone involved is empowered to meet and perhaps even exceed those set goals. Goals, however, must be clear, challenging, and measurable, followed by consistent feedback and recognition to ensure appropriate progress. Having these goals and benchmarks for achievement can help nurture happier, more empowered employees. Valued and appreciated employees are typically more productive and efficient because they care for the success of the business as if it were their own and take great pride in their work.

Dental laboratory technology is as much emotional as it is technical, and laboratory employees who feel fulfilled in their careers and emotions will likely produce a significantly better dental restoration with a greater level of artistry and detail than those who are simply going through the motions. Setting goals and motivating workers can help foster greater business growth, customer satisfaction, employee recruitment, revenue growth, and, simply, a better way to do business. It all starts with establishing proper goals.

I wish you all a prosperous year ahead. It is my honor and pleasure to elevate and inspire with knowledge.

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