Many people that I talk with are experiencing challenges with employee retention. This is creating a great deal of stress and strain on the practice owner and the team. Is this true for you and your practice?
Employees that don’t feel appreciated, valued, or understand their role (place) in the practice oftentimes will leave. This results in the office being understaffed which can negatively impact patient care and experiences. The same can happen when employees stay but are not trained properly and/or are not working in harmony with your mission and core values.
“There is no way that the quality of patient care and experiences will exceed the quality of the people who provide it.”
It’s true if you want your patients to consistently have great experiences, accept your treatment recommendations, and refer their friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to you – it takes a quality, happy, and productive team. Of course, though, it starts with you!
Set the Example – Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient!
If you want to see a positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example… be the change. It starts at the top. You set the tone for the day, make certain that it’s a happy & productive one. This includes any employee in a management position – if you have employees complaining about your office manager, take it seriously. A toxic office manager will destroy your practice over time, at the very least, cause a staff turnover nightmare. In fact, any employee that is toxic to your vision, to your team, and/or your patients…needs to go. It’s not easy to make the decision to terminate someone’s employment, yet absolutely necessary if you want to improve your practice. It’s been said that “what you allow you encourage.” Once you make the decision to no longer tolerate or allow poor behavior and attitudes in your practice, you’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Practice Owners – If you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about or would just like to discover areas of opportunity for your practice … please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at email@example.com.
Dental Employee Appreciation, Retention, and Team Building Tips and Ideas
Communication – “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”
- Job Expectations & Job Responsibilities – What are the performance expectations for your team? Does each employee clearly understand their role in the practice?
- Morning Huddles – See: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2022/01/28/dental-office-daily-huddle-agenda-tips-and-ideas-for-success/
- Monthly Team Meetings – See: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2019/12/27/tips-and-ideas-for-successful-monthly-dental-team-meetings/
- Quarterly Employee Check-ins (AKA Performance Evaluations)
- Hello, Good Morning! – Make it a point to greet your fellow team members every morning. Let people know that you see them and acknowledge them with a hello.
- Thank you – Express your appreciation. Saying thank you improves your office, your health, and the patient’s experience.
- Commendation – Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Applaud & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. Simply thanking your team at the end of the day goes a long way in making them feel appreciated.
Creativity – Host “Brainstorm Sessions” with prizes for creative marketing ideas, solutions to improve office efficiency, welcome more new patients, patient retention, and how to have more fun as a team.
Accountability – “Great teammates hold each other accountable to the high standards and excellence their culture expects and demands.” – Jon Gordon
Work Space / Office Appearance – “Clutter in your physical surroundings will clutter your mind and spirit.”
Clutter represents indecision. Decide to get rid of the office clutter!
Staff Lounge / Lunchroom – What does your breakroom/lounge look like? Is it a space that you can relax in and enjoy? Consider cleaning it up, organizing, re-decorating, and stocking it with healthy snacks and beverages for the team. Check out these ideas here: Tips for Sprucing Up the Dental Office Break Room
Work Hard, Have Fun, and Create Beautiful Smiles.
Have FUN! – You spend far too much time together at work to not have some fun too! Create a fun and stress-free environment with Team Building Activities and Events!
Here are some ideas to get you started…
In Office Fun: Potluck lunch, Send an Ice Cream or Coffee Truck to the office, Carry out lunch (team choice), Crafts, Games, & Puzzles. Turn the music up and dance. Make little appreciation gifts that you can give out to your patients at their appointments.
Healthier Teams – How about team exercise/yoga classes? Or Monday morning breakfast smoothies? Or walks outside during breaks.
Fun with Social Media – Utilize your social media pages and your Google My Business page to show your patients and potential patients what a fun office you have.
Videos – post fun team videos on your office social media pages.
Employee Work Anniversaries – Celebrate employee work anniversaries and post pictures to your social media pages.
Pictures – take fun/silly pictures with the team and your patients to share on social media, your website, and in newsletters.
Fun Dress Up/Theme Days –
What: Decorate the office, team dresses up, small prize giveaways and snacks.
Theme Ideas: Luau, Decades, Superhero, Disney, Pirates, Western, Carnival, Sports teams, Pajama Day, Silly hats/hair/socks, Etc.
Book Club – Purchase team building/self-improvement books for your team. During your monthly team meetings or at your daily huddle discuss portions of the book. Consider purchasing electronic devices such as an Amazon Fire tablet for each employee and download books that can be discussed during a “book club team meeting”.
Check out Dental Office Leadership, Management, Marketing, and Team Building Book Recommendations here from Betty’s Bookshelf
If you have some favorites that you think I should add to my list, feel free to shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org – Thank you.
Incentives/Rewards – Sometimes unexpected rewards work better than expected monthly bonuses for reaching goals. Every office is different, so if you have something that is working well for you and your team continue doing it. However, if you would like some reward/incentive ideas for reaching daily/weekly/monthly production, collection, new patient, service/product, social media, reviews, and other goals but want to keep the rewards unexpected or more spontaneous, here you go…
In addition to simple, yet appreciated, thank you cards; Spa Gift Card, Good Ol’ Cash, Lunch/Breakfast, Purse/Tote bag, Gift Baskets, Plants/Flowers, Jewelry, Movie/Theater Gift Cards, Tickets to Sporting Events/Concert, Amusement Park tickets, Restaurant gift card, Gas cards and Car Wash Gift Cards.
If you would like even more ideas, be sure to follow this Pinterest Board: Employee Appreciation Gifts & Meeting Activities / Team Building Activities
Outside the office Fun: (depending on your location and current pandemic restrictions/cautions) Bowling, Painting Party, Shopping, Dinner, Cooking Class, Axe Throwing, Wally Ball, Sporting Event, Spa, Escape Room, Field Day (Team up with other offices), Concert, Skating, Batting Cages, Mini Golf, Pottery Class, Theater, Pool party, Skiing, Nature hike/walk, Etc.
Continuing Education – Continuing education, not just for the providers but for the entire team is a wonderful way to ensure practice growth. Not to mention, it’s a great team-building experience, one that will give you a happier and more motivated team. You can do this with in-office training, webinars, lunch and learns, and seminars/classes outside of the office.
Consider incorporating a dental continuing education class with a fun event, for example, CPR Course and Pool Party.
Regular Team Training – Don’t hold back in this area! Invest in your team. Thoroughly train any new employees on your practice goals, systems, software, telephone skills, dental procedures, protocols, etc. However, training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training.
Proper Planning (Training) Prevents Poor Performance
Is there a chance you might have some new dental equipment or training manuals just sitting on the shelf, collecting dust? It’s most likely because your team didn’t understand or appreciate the why and the how. Knowing why and how this new idea, technique, equipment, or procedure works, benefits the patient, the team, and the office is critical to enthused implementation.
Community Involvement – Visit the local farmers market, art/street fairs, Races/Run/Walk for-a-cause, Fundraisers, Parades, Etc. Be active in your community. Pass out freebies imprinted with your office information to the people attending these community events. Be sure to take pictures of you and your team out and about in the community and share on your social media pages and website.
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” ~ Dale Carnegie
It is my wish that these ideas and tips will help you and your team experience greater happiness at work.
I would LOVE to hear from you! If you appreciate and enjoy the complimentary ideas and content that I share each month – PLEASE leave me a review/recommendation on Google or Facebook. Simply click the following links… GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK– Thank you so much!!
Yours for Greater Success,
~Betty – Dental Coach