As a practice owner, time is money – and a full schedule means a healthy bottom line. When holes in your daily schedule appear, your first thought probably isn’t office morale. But surprisingly, morale can affect a number of factors in the dental practice, including productivity and job turnover.
Jennifer Pearce, a practice administrator with more than 18 years of experience, can help you provide a motivated and energetic workplace for you, your staff, and your patients. The team at Prosperity Dental Solutions brings a combined total of more than 38 years of industry experience to coaching you and your staff. Our goal is to train your team to “think prosperous” so you can thrive in the profession that you love!
Why Morale Matters
If morale isn’t at the forefront of your business mind, it should be. By its very definition, morale is the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline that is displayed by an individual or group at any given time. High morale is key to a pleasant work environment. If your employees feel appreciated, it can motivate them to go that extra mile for the overall good of your practice.
On the other hand, low morale can be damaging to an office’s “esprit de crop” if left unchecked. We’ve all seen employees who have a negative attitude. Disgruntled team members can have a negative impact on otherwise happy co-workers – and this can happen subconsciously, starting a downward spiral that can be difficult to reverse. Office morale is something you can’t afford to ignore. So how can you cultivate genuine positivity among your team members? Here are some ways to actively shape and nurture morale in your dental practice.
Ways to Improve Office Morale
- Publicly and privately praise employees. When it comes to building morale, small things make a huge difference. This means more than taking your team members out for a birthday lunch. Birthdays are great, but work anniversaries demonstrate your appreciation of everything that person has brought into your practice. Important benchmarks every five years are not to be missed. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to compliment your employees in front of your patients. A little appreciation goes a long way.
- Delegate responsibilities. Boredom leads to apathy which leads to low morale. Intellectual engagement is the answer. To do this, it’s important to periodically delegate new responsibilities. Of course, this is never a good idea when the staff member is already overworked or overstressed. Focus on those who are open to receiving new challenges and responsibilities. Also, be mindful of each team member’s strengths, and give them tasks at which they will excel. Some staffers may have a tendency to go stir crazy if they are given repetitive tasks for too long. These individuals may benefit from an opportunity to drive to pick up medical supplies, for example.
- Compensate exceptional workers. A dental office isn’t Wall Street, but any workplace is obligated to pay workers commensurate with their efforts and talents. If wages have been stagnant for multiple years, a small raise with an expressed statement of appreciation can help employees feel valued.
- Welcome communication. Morning huddles are common in dental practices. But in addition to reviewing the day’s schedule, be sure you open the floor for communication. Everyone, from the receptionist to the assistant to the office manager should feel heard, valued, and respected. Furthermore, periodic, confidential conversations about workplace satisfaction should also be an active part of workplace policy.
Everyone wants to feel appreciated. That’s just human nature. Your dental team is no different. By leaving communication lines open, you can know when an employee feels “stuck” in his or her current role. This is the first – and necessary – step to preventing low morale.
Build and Maintain High Morale in Your Practice
Want to boost morale in your dental office? If so, we can help. Jennifer Pearce has more than 24 years of experience as a dental office administrator. She has also co-owned multiple dental practices. For expert help, call Prosperity Dental Solutions at 817-975-4576 or email email@example.com.