Employees in a medical office are knowledge workers. Motivation is not limited to pay scale alone but also to job satisfaction and challenge. A knowledge worker may well be more familiar with their job than their manager is. Indeed this knowledge is a commodity which may be in demand and which is portable. incentivizing the recognition and implementation of best practices at the level of the individual employee and employee categories, medical assistants for example, is the goal of management.
Merit raises can be based on three basic criteria upon annual review:
Fulfilling the basic job requirements in a timely manner and with an appropriate appearance is expected of any employee. For a knowledge worker, merit implies an application of their innate intelligence toward the improvement of the defining processes of their job. It is the job of management to provide a mechanism by which suggestions on process improvement can be brought to the attention of management by each employee and be considered for implementation, with due credit being given to the employee at the time of annual review. The mechanism for conveying such information should mirror that through which complaints can be raised and resolved through open conference with their fellow managers in instances where conflict between worker and their immediate supervisor seem to warrant arbitration.
For a knowledge worker merit implies an understanding that most achievement is a collective process and individal efforts interlace. Inequalities in effort and capacity are inevitable and some asymmetry in the rewards which accrue to the more spontaneously energetic and gratuitously helpful employee are not to be undermined by expressed resentment. A team spirit builds with helpfulness especially when it is offered without obligation.
The orthopedic practice is a service. Like most service industries the "product" of the enterprise is less tangible than in a manufacturing enterprise. Indeed in medicine, even the most optimal exercise of our most conscientiously applied art and science may not yield a net benefit to the patient. That patient would seemingly be quite justified in seeking care elsewhere if this were all they had to go on. As it happens however with the help of merit worthy front office workers and back offic workers who also interact with patients on the financial aspect of their experience with the practice, the patient who has not met with a favorable result may yet return the next time if they were treated with courtesy and regard, with respect of their privacy and with a timely delivery of service, in which the patient is guided through the transitions from one venue to the next as they are readied for surgery and recovery.