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Employee Appreciation

It’s no secret that every person in the dental office plays a vital role in the success of a practice. From the receptionist who greets patients with a smile to the dental assistants who assist during procedures, every individual has a unique contribution that deserves recognition. Appreciation days and weeks come and go, but does your practice take the time to truly acknowledge each team member’s efforts and hard work on a consistent basis?

Appreciation is Key to Retention and Morale

In the 2023 DentalPost Salary Report, a positive work environment, better pay, and appreciation were among the top three reasons dental team members let their eyes wander to see what other offices look and feel like. And it’s not just a top-down thing.

According to a survey done by OnePoll, 46% of workers left a job because they didn’t feel appreciated.  Even more eye-opening was that 65% said they would work harder if they felt like what they did was noticed by management. They would remain in positions with an unappreciative boss if they felt like their co-workers appreciated all they did.

Every Team Member Counts

In a fast-paced environment like dentistry, every team member’s effort counts, and appreciation can go a long way in boosting morale. From the front desk staff scheduling appointments to the dental hygienists performing cleanings, everyone hustles to ensure patients receive the best care possible. Recognizing hard work and dedication can make all the difference in maintaining a positive work environment. When team members feel their contributions are noticed and valued, they are more likely to continue putting in their best effort, resulting in a more successful practice overall.

Upcoming Appreciation Dates

While we should all be celebrating each other regularly, here are some key appreciation dates to keep on the calendar so you don’t miss any opportunity to spread some well-deserved love:

  • Employee Appreciation Day: first Friday of March
  • Dental Assistant Appreciation Week: first full week in March (next up: March 3-9, 2024)
  • National Dentist Day: March 6
  • Dental Hygiene Appreciation Week (aka Dental Hygienist Week): second week in April (next up: April 8-12, 2024)
  • Administrative Professionals Day: April 24
  • National Receptionist Day: second Wednesday of May
  • Office Manager Appreciation Month: September
  • Boss’s Day: October 16 (or nearest working day if it falls on a weekend)

And in the meantime, here are some easy and free things you can do to show appreciation.

Write a Handwritten note

Receiving a handwritten note from a colleague or boss is a rare and special experience that can profoundly impact a person’s morale and motivation. It’s an intimate gesture that shows someone took the time to sit down and express their gratitude and admiration. When I received a handwritten note from my dentist, I was truly touched and inspired. It made me feel valued and appreciated, giving me the drive to continue working hard and striving for excellence. It’s amazing how something as simple as a handwritten note can boost someone’s confidence and make them feel like they are making a difference. So the next time you want to show appreciation to a colleague or team member, consider writing them a heartfelt note. It may seem like a small gesture but can significantly impact their morale and motivation.

Compliment Your dental team member to a patient

As dental professionals, we all know the feeling of self-doubt that can creep in occasionally. Imposter syndrome and perfectionist tendencies are common among dentists, but there’s nothing quite like hearing a patient compliment one of your team members to boost your confidence. It’s not only a great feeling to know that your efforts are noticed and appreciated by others, but it also serves as a reminder of our impact on our patients’ lives. So don’t be afraid to share the love and compliment your colleagues to patients. It’s a simple gesture that can make a big difference in how you and your team feel about your work.

help Them out with one small thing

Even the smallest acts of kindness and assistance can make a huge difference in the workplace. Whether answering the phone or helping to bag instruments, knowing that your co-workers have your back can take a weight off your shoulders and boost your morale. When someone offers help without being asked, it shows that they pay attention and care about the team’s success. This kind of support makes us feel seen and appreciated, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and motivation. So don’t underestimate the power of a simple act of kindness. It can go a long way in creating a positive work environment where everyone feels valued and supported.

Appreciation is Essential

Appreciation can come in many forms, from a simple “thank you” to a grand gesture. No matter how you show it, appreciation is essential to creating a positive work environment. When team members feel valued and recognized for their contributions, they are likelier to continue putting in their best effort and helping others do the same. This creates a cycle of positivity and productivity that benefits everyone in the office.

In addition to boosting job satisfaction, appreciation also helps team members feel less isolated in their roles. When you take the time to recognize someone’s hard work, you show they are not alone in their efforts. This is especially important for team members who feel they are working in isolation or that their contributions go unnoticed.

So don’t be afraid to throw around that appreciation like confetti. Whether a small gesture or a grand gesture, every act of appreciation can make a difference in creating a positive work environment. And who knows, by inspiring your team to throw appreciation around with you, you might help create a workplace that everyone loves coming to every day.

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