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Dental Team Appreciation

Posted October 22, 2020

Amanda Hill, RDH

When was the last time you felt truly appreciated? 

Whether you are in the role of boss, employee, parent, or friend, we all need to feel like what we are doing matters. Otherwise, why do it? This is especially important in dentistry. We spend so much of our time taking care of other people by anticipating and meeting their needs that we forget our own need to feel valued and purposeful.

I recently received an email from my employer dentist thanking me for all my work in the office. He personally recognized the time and energy I put into establishing new protocols and bringing the team on board.  He pointed out specific things I had done in the office and genuinely thanked me for my efforts toward improving the office.  

Wow! I was taken aback at how meaningful that email was. He’s the kind of guy that says thank you at the end of each day and I’m fully aware that he appreciates the effort I put into my job but seeing that in an email really struck me. 

I even read it to my family at the dinner table and shared it on a Dental Hygiene Facebook page! I received so many comments from people wishing their boss would show them some kind of appreciation. 

It probably took several minutes to type but it left a lasting impression on me. I suddenly felt like I could take on more projects, knowing he appreciated what I was doing. I felt empowered and excited to contribute more, not just sit back and decide it’s someone else’s turn. 

Now that water line testing didn’t feel quite so burdensome, it felt purposeful and appreciated. It’s no surprise that I felt this way.

Appreciation Increases Employee Retention 

A survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive for Glassdoor surveyed 2,044 workers. They found that 53% of employees would stay at their company longer if they felt more appreciation from their boss. In addition, 81% said they’re motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work.

In a Forbes interview, Allyson Willoughby, Glassdoor’s senior vice-president of people and general counsel, said:

Most employees just want to feel appreciated and valued. They want to be involved in decision-making processes, do interesting work, and have a purpose.  If employers keep this in mind, they’ll likely longer retain some of their most talented employees. The time a boss spends showing some appreciation, thus helping retention, is time spent not having to recruit and interview an employee’s replacement.”

I’d venture to say it’s not just the dentist’s job to show appreciation.  We can all take a few minutes to let our co-workers and our boss know how much we appreciate specific things they do.

British business magnate, Richard Branson is famous for saying “train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” While this is certainly aimed at the “boss,” I’d say those of us in clinical practice know how important a strong team is and how very painful it is when someone leaves that well-oiled machine. 

Don’t keep those nice words in your mind… go out there and say them, write them, share them! The best long-term investment is in your team. Treat them like family and they are more likely to stay a part of your team. 

As originally published on Safco Dental.

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