“Thank you, thank you very much.”
Do these words sound familiar? I hope so. Unfortunately, some of us do not hear them often enough. I have worked as an office manager in the dental field for more than ten years, and I try my best to make sure that at the end of every day I thank every member of our team for a job well done. Even if the day wasn’t as busy as we would have liked, they came and were ready and willing to do whatever the day’s schedule called for.
I recently heard an interesting statistic: 60% of employees are searching for a new job one month after being hired. That shocked me, and yet I know it must be true: I have inadvertently found employees searching online through the local hospital’s job postings. It’s a sad fact that a lot of people are unemployed right now, but that doesn’t mean those who have jobs aren’t looking for something better.
So, how do you keep good employees? A competitive salary is a must, but money is not the key factor for employee satisfaction. Your team wants to know that their work is valued, and that you also value their ideas. How many times have we all said that we spend more time at work than we do at home? It stands to reason, then, that our job is a home away from home. It is exactly because of this fact that we need to appreciate these very important people: they are a part of our family.
What would happen if you went home every day and cooked dinner, cleaned the house, or did whatever other job you want to mention, and no one ever said “thank you”? Your feelings would be hurt, wouldn’t they? You might even start to feel a little resentful, a little unappreciated. This is true in the workplace, too.
There are lots of things we can do to show our team members that they are appreciated. One suggestion is to treat them to lunch once a month, and start a “Gem” program that recognizes when team members go the extra mile in patient care. A drawing for those who were recognized is held, with the winner of the drawing receiving a reward. This makes everyone feel good about themselves and their job, and one lucky team member gets an added incentive.
We all know that we’re paid for our day’s work, but I also know that if a team member shows me that this is not just a job to them but a profession they care deeply about, I have to do everything possible to keep them in our practice. Sometimes, the easiest but most forgotten form of appreciation is a simple thank-you. It may seem simple to us, but it is oh-so-important to the one receiving it.
I have not always worked in the dental field. Prior to working in a dental office, I spent almost seven years at a major retail department store. It was during this time that I learned how much I appreciated being thanked, and how much I resented it when no one seemed to notice all of my hard work. It is because of this experience that I understand the importance of telling someone “thank you” and really appreciating it when they go the extra mile.
So to everyone who helps make my job such a pleasure, I say “Thank you, thank you very much.”