Critical Matters in Practices by Linda Marek

This spring, I started thinking of the critical matters facing practices today. In no order of importance, I see:

  • Being scheduled out longer than in recent years (4-8 weeks in some cases)
  • Wrestling the question of getting out of PPO networks or staying for the patients
  • New patients being scheduled out too far, then losing interest
  • Not being able to find qualified team members

Since all employers – not only Dentists – are facing an employee shortage, we would be smart to look at what employees are motivated by and do our best to encourage this in our workplaces.

  • According to Gallup, only 34% of employees are engaged in the workplace
  • 86% of employers report poor communication among employees
  • 85% of employees report increased motivation when communication is working
  • Organizational culture impacts job satisfaction by 42%

I then started thinking about the team’s I work with who are not experiencing these items. What are their characteristics:

  • They all pull together with no blame or attitudinal issues
  • They are bonusing BIG
  • They enjoy each other

So, as we move the calendar closer to the summer and celebrate the good weather and good times with family and friends, I decided to take a look at the effect of celebrations on teams. Celebrations:

  1. Relieve Stress: Goals often bring stress to achieve them, along with the anxiety of not hitting those goals. Taking time to spend together (outside of those goals) will release stress. This makes the goals seem really not all that bad.
  2. Celebrations provide motivation: If you know something good is coming, it provides motivation to accomplish the goal. Celebration reminds you why you are pursing the goal in the first place.
  3. Celebration recognizes excellence: We are often drawn to the negative, negative news even negative self-talk. Celebration is evidence of excellence.
  4. Celebration shows appreciation and acceptance: Celebration shows you notice and appreciate the contributions others make. Want to have people continue to work hard? Let them know you are not taking them for granted.
  5. Celebration builds energy: Moving from task to task, deadlines, and knowing you have to produce to meet expectations can be draining. Celebration stands in contrast – it means we WON!
  6. Celebration provides reflection: In a moment, celebrations provide the ability to look at what went well and allowed the achievement. It also permits you to ask, what could we have done better?
  7. Celebration is a moment in time to remember: As you work toward new goals with trials and tribulations, you look back to the moment you celebrated. Once you have felt the joy of a big victory – you will want it again!

So whether it’s an afternoon of bowling, a one-drink happy hour, a mid-summer pool party, or an unexpected lunch together, let’s all think about the importance of celebrating and make it an important part of practice life.