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Thank You

How to show team member appreciation, especially during these challenging times

Oct. 14, 2020
While some people have chosen not to return to the dental practice, those who have endured deserve appreciation. Kyle Summerford shares ideas that are sure to lift your team's spirits, and will let people know they're important.
Kyle L. Summerford, Editorial Director

COVID-19 has created financial burdens for dental practice owners across the United States. Furthermore, dentists are finding that it may be difficult to offer additional compensation or paid time off for their staff members. Also, dental practice owners are struggling with getting staff to return to work, and even having difficulty finding staff to replace those team members who have left the dental industry altogether. COVID-19 has broken many team relationships and caused turmoil. But there are many team members who chose to stay and weather the storm to make sure the practice is set up for future prosperity.

September was Dental Office Manager Appreciation month. This month helps office managers feel valued and appreciated for their efforts, but every team member is key to the success of a dental practice. This year is a bit different than usual and instead of celebrating one special team member, I implore you to celebrate those team members who have shown their dedication during these difficult times. Help them feel valued and honored by showing your appreciation for their dedication.

Here are the top 10 ways I think you can show that you care about one of your most integral team members.

1. Purchase an AADOM membership for the front office manager. This is a win-win. You invest in your staff member’s continuing education and he or she will apply that knowledge to your dental practice.
2. Give the gift of take-out. Purchase a gift certificate to Uber Eats or Grub Hub. Restaurants may still be closed due to COVID-19.
3. Personalize a gift basket of fruits or favorite snacks.
4. Buy a cake or cupcakes. Who doesn’t love sweet treats?
5. Allow people to leave the office a bit early periodically. Everyone loves to get home before the sun goes down.
6. Buy the entire staff lunch. If you want to recognize the office manager, have the entire staff sign a thank you card.
7. Have a bouquet of flowers or balloons delivered to the practice for everyone to enjoy.
8. Offer small bonuses. Should you have a prosperous month, this is thoughtful.
9. Give the gift of music. Staff members sometimes travel on public transportation and enjoy music on their daily commutes. A membership to Spotify or an iTunes gift card would be appreciated.
10. Say “Thank you.” This short but powerful phrase goes a long way.

Kyle L. Summerford is a nationally recognized practice management guru, author, and lecturer. He is founder and president of Summerford Solutions Inc., and cofounder of Elitedentalclaims.com. Kyle also serves as editorial director of Dental Office Manager Digest e-newsletter. He lectures extensively to dentists and their staff on topics such as insurance coding and billing and useful practice management tips. Contact him at [email protected].