A little show of appreciation can go a long way in raising morale and developing a positive office culture. In fact, according to recent research, 63% of employees who are recognized for their work are much more likely to not look for another job and 40% say they would put more energy into their work if they were recognized more often.
And you don’t need to wait for a holiday or birthday, either. There are some big appreciation dates that will feel especially meaningful for those who work in the dental industry. Mark these dates on your calendar now and use our ideas to help you brainstorm the perfect celebration!
Fourth Week in January – Medical Group Practice Week
No matter what role you play at the practice, it takes a team effort to keep your patients’ oral health and the office thriving. This week is about celebrating the entire squad and bringing awareness to the power of collaborative care.
To celebrate, make it about the teams that work at your facility! Share photos of your hard-working folks on social media or treat yourselves to lunch. You can also offer a special giveaway for patients, such as a free cleaning or an oral health care gift basket.
Learn more about celebrating medical groups by visiting the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) website.
March 6 – National Dentist’s Day
This is a big one! Every March 6, we celebrate the work dentists do to keep patients’ smiles healthy. It also doubles as a public awareness campaign to encourage people to take care of their oral health.
For patients, you can give away special goodie bags that include fun items like toothbrushes, floss and magnets with your practice’s contact information. For the dentists that work out of your office, you can never go wrong with something heartfelt and personal: try collecting thank you notes from patients and present them to the dentist in a book or binder!
Check out the National Dentist’s Day website for images you can share on your social media pages on the big day!
Second Week in March – Dental Assistant Appreciation Week
Dental offices are not one-person shows: dental assistants are the ultimate utility players who jump in whenever needed and keep the practice running smoothly.
To celebrate, consider bringing in lunch or buying them a present to show your appreciation such as flowers or a gift card to their favorite store. If you have social media pages, you can give them a special shout-out for all your followers to see!
You can visit the American Dental Assistant Association’s website for resources you can use to spread the word.
Second Week in April – Dental Hygienist Appreciation Week
When patients walk out of your practice with a squeaky clean smile, you have a dental hygienist to thank! This week is a great time to show your appreciation for these hard-working teammates at your practice.
In addition to the ideas already suggested, you can also gift your hygienist a CE course paid in full or a ticket to an industry conference or networking event. You can even print off fun activity sheets for your youngest patients to educate them early on oral health!
Bonus: This role is also celebrated all through October for Dental Hygiene Month!
Fourth Wednesday in April – Administrative Professionals Day
While not tied specifically to the dental industry, you have an entire front desk team that does everything from taking calls to keeping records to getting patients checked in. Why not recognize them for all their hard work?
Team-based ideas like a lunch always work well, but you may also want to consider individual gifts, since everyone likes to be recognized for their accomplishments. The idea of appreciation notes from patients also works great with this group since they are front and center at your practice.
This day is also recognized by the International Association of Administrative Professionals and you can check out their helpful resources on their website.
May – Save Your Tooth Month
This one is for all the endodontists out there! The superheroes who perform root canals rightfully have their own month to not only celebrate their achievements, but also provide an education opportunity for patients.
For your teammates, any gift that falls under the superhero-style theme of “Your Teeth are Worth Saving” is sure to be a hit. You can also offer CE classes to help boost their career or a gift card to their favorite lunch spot.
The American Association of Endodontists has plenty of Save Your Tooth Month resources for practices and patients alike on their website.
Month varies – Dental Office Manager Appreciation Month
If you want to get to the heart of every dental office, look no further than the dental office manager. Founded by the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) in 2010, this month celebrates the role that is the cornerstone of your practice.
The gift of a professional development course can help expand their skillset and improve your practice. And since they have a pulse on everything in your office, you could present them with a book of thank you notes from your entire team. (You can also never go wrong with a gift basket of their favorite treat!)
AADOM is a great resource for dental office managers and you can check out their website for insightful blog posts, industry updates and membership information.
The bottom line: Showing some appreciation for your dental team can go a long way. Acknowledging their hard work with a gift and recognition on an industry-specific date will boost morale and show them how much you value the work they do for your patients.