There is Always Something to Be Grateful For!

by Dr. Ron Arndt

The attraction and retention of dental auxiliaries are increasing concerns for my clients and many dental business owners – and the situation is only expected to get worse as baby boomers grow older and retire from the workforce. Retaining workers in a competitive market requires an office environment that is supportive, caring and stands out from the rest. This will require an attitude of gratitude. The doctor will need to become more “consciously grateful” for the contribution of employees. Some ideas…

growing a dental practice

  1. Send Handwritten Notes. Write a note at the end of the day to an employee who has done something remarkable, saved you time or embarrassment, or went the extra mile. A simple “thank you” or “I appreciate you” is powerful to the soul. You may even send this note of acknowledgement to the spouse, parent, or significant other for added emphasis and encouragement.
  2. Tell team members why they are important. People who understand that their efforts make a difference to the success of the team want to make sure their team “wins.” Let everyone know how important he or she is – everyday! Make this simple, daily task one of your daily and weekly “to do” lists.
  3. Leave a Message. When a team member does something remarkable that is noteworthy, call their voicemail at home or their cell phone and leave a message of praise and acknowledge them for a job well done. If you’re to busy during the day, do it on the way home from your cell phone. Don’t be surprised if they don’t save the message and replay for their friends and family…or perhaps to hear again and again.

How can you show your employees you care and, in the process, develop a loyal workforce?

Recognition and rewards come in all shapes and sizes. They can be formal (part of a planned program) or informal (given spontaneously). They can be free (a warm smile and a sincere “thank you”), simple (a single red rose in a bud vase for each staff member at the end of a productive week), or elaborate (a team one-day trip to Atlantic City).

Suggestion: Celebrate what you want to see more of. Determine what you want to see more of, less of, expanded, improved, eliminated, or modified. Then acknowledge that behavior.

So what two things will you celebrate today? Take the next step and implement a simple system of recognition and acknowledgement in your office. If you simply use the three ideas listed above, you will be well on your way to creating a more appreciative atmosphere in your office. Do one of them today and observe the positive results.

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