How to Get Your Dental Office Employees to Work Harder – Without Giving a Raise

by Dr. Ron Arndt

As dentists, in general, we don’t do a good job of acknowledging our team. Every daily function in our practice is important – from the way the scheduler makes an appointment to the way the office staff says good-bye to a patient on their way out. Each wants their employees to work smarter and harder, but sometimes a monetary raise is not the answer. There are other things we can do to acknowledge our employees and show them how valuable they are – without breaking the bank. As, I share these with my clients.

Many studies have been done where dental office employees report that their boss (the doctor) rarely acknowledges them and that they do not feel important. By letting your staff know that you appreciate them, paying on performance and incenting employees to higher levels of performance – your dental practice can be launched to greater successes.

Five ways to incentivize your staff to work harder in their positions:

1)      Write a hand-written note to one staff member per week thanking them for their dedicated service to your practice, and noting a specific action that they have done to make the practice better. This can be something like soothing a nervous patient or taking the time out to straighten up the reception/waiting area.

2)      Place a plain envelope on a special staff member’s desk with a $25 gift certificate to a local establishment and a note that says “Spoil yourself this weekend – on me!”

3)      Ask for their opinions and put them into use. Gather your staff together and ask for ideas on how to get new patients, how to get more referrals and how to better service your current ones. Your staff will feel needed, wanted and valued – and you will get some great business development ideas out of it! This is one of my favoritestrategies.

4)      Write a note a staff members family, telling them how proud they should be of their family member (mom, daughter, etc) and what a great job he/she does in the office.

5)      On a slow day in the office, let your staff take a 2 hour lunch. That time to re-charge will certainly make them better performers in the office!

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