I always feel a little sad when I realize it seems like most of us (including myself) start thinking about what we’re most thankful for just about this time of the year. And, the things we talk about being most thankful for are God, County, family, and friends. All of these are incredibly important in our world, but how many of us are thankful for the people who share our workday?
A Culture of Gratitude
I recently had the good fortune of meeting a Dentist, his Office Manager and the entire Team, and what a Team they have! This Dentist sought out an Office Manager to help him create a culture. The most interesting point of all of this was she knows little to nothing about Dentistry! She’s a college coach who won Coach of the Year and accepted his offer as Office Manager once she understood just what he wanted her to do. I spent a day in their office, and I was so pleased at what I observed.
Specifically, I was told by three or four employees how thankful they were for having been chosen for their position (there are eleven Team members). When the new Office Manager took over, she dismissed all but two employees and rebuilt the entire Team. These people work seamlessly, and the entire day flowed beautifully. The clinical Team would consistently pick up the ball for each other; it was like watching a professional sports team. They all spoke about how thankful they were for their Teammates.
I could see how much the employees, parents and the kids admired and respected the Doctor (he’s a Pediatric Specialist with a double specialty: orthodontics and pediatric dentistry). A couple of the administrative Team members reported how thankful they were to be working for him. The Office Manager shared how thankful she was to have taken the position, as she almost didn’t!
How Do You Show Gratitude?
So, let me ask you this: are you thankful for your Teammates at work? For the Assistant who stepped in for you so you could get a lunch break. Or the Hygienist who offered to turn your room so you could set up for that emergency? How about the Doctor boss who consistently shows you’re appreciated?
And Doctors, does your Team know you’re thankful for them? Remember, the number one reason a Team member decides to leave a practice? It’s not money, it’s a lack of appreciation. Now I’m not saying that they won’t like a nice Christmas bonus, but try placing a personal note in with that bonus; this gesture will go a very long way towards loyalty.
Now, if there’s a Team member for whom you can’t muster up any gratitude, it may be time to upgrade your practice culture. Take the leap, encourage them to take some time off and post an ad at www.dentalstaffing.org.
“Don’t wait until the fourth Thursday in November, to sit with family and friends to give thanks. Make every day a day of Thanksgiving!”
– Charmaine J Forde
Dr. Deborah Marynak is the owner of DentalStaffing.org, a dentist with over 30 years experience, and is committed to helping Dental Professionals find the right fit for both employees and employers. She also works with Dental Offices to help them streamline their clinical systems and teach Dental Teams how to effectively document to avoid risk.