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Motivate staff and enhance productivity by discovering ways to play at work

With all of the responsibilities and demands that office staff face on a daily basis (e.g., unhappy patients to cope with, incessant calls to answer, and insurers to battle), keeping staff motivated can often prove a daunting challenge. As a practice administrator or office manager, "you're working in some of the most intense environments that there are," says Jody Urquhart, a motivational speaker and author who gave the keynote address during the PAHCOM national conference in Florida this past fall. Staff must deal with not only their own concerns, but also the individual concerns of their patients, says Urquhart, who writes the syndicated column "Joy of Work," which is published in more than 65 magazines and journals.