Dental Team Building: Easy Tips For A Happy Staff

Posted by Rachel Lenton on Jun 18, 2019 8:56:00 AM
Rachel Lenton
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Teamwork makes the dream work. If your goal is to have a successful business, your goal should also be to have a successful team. Team building is intentionally bringing your staff together. Transitioning them from employees/co-workers to team members. Doing this will not only create a cohesive team but grow your dental practice.


Ideas and Activities for Team Building and Employee Engagement

dental team buildingTeam Meetings

Your morning huddle is a great team building opportunity. Take a quick moment to congratulate the team, build morale, and keep the focus on key practice goals.

Monthly and quarterly meetings should be a must because they're a great opportunity to expand on what you do in the morning huddle. Build focus and momentum. Discuss improvements and processes as a team. Schedule evaluations as one-on-ones. Public recognition, promotions, and awards should be given at big meetings to be celebrated as a practice. A win for one person is seen as a win for everyone. Finally, really drill into your dental practice goals and bonus opportunities. Review strategies and take time to answer questions so everyone is on the same page.


Team Lunches

It can get really busy at the office. A great team building activity for dental offices are team lunches. A free meal is a simple yet effective way to give recognition and thank your team. It can be hard to feel connected as people when you are consistently in a work setting and are connecting over someone's molars. A lunch gets you out of the office and into a neutral setting to relax and hang out as a community.

Jesse Sussmen says: "50% of the positive changes in communication patterns within the workplace can be credited to social interaction outside of the workplace."

Team Recognition

Take the opportunity to do dental office giveaways. Giveaways and raffles are an easy way to show your team as a whole or teams within your practice how much you appreciate them. These giveaways could be based on appreciation, chance, or even friendly competition between departments.

Appreciation-based: You could do a ballet vote for which department worked the hardest that month. You could also show appreciation for a specific employee based on how long they've been with the company.

Chance-based: A raffle prize or "guess how many jelly beans are in the jar" are two examples of a chance based recognition or prize for your team. This one is great because it doesn't require much from you and it encourages or rewards someone at random.

Competition-based: Friendly department competition can bring internal teams closer, and the practice together as a whole. Try having lip-sync battles and post them to social media. Let your patients vote on who they thought was the best or even the most funny.


How to make employees feel appreciated?

We said that bonuses are a great way to give incentives to your employees. There should be an appreciation for the above-and-beyond work done by your team. If you have a great team there should be consistent bonuses such as an annual Christmas bonus worked into your budget every year.

A blog by recruiterbox states: "Organizations with an effective recognition program have a 31% lower voluntary turnover than organizations with ineffective recognition programs."


Dental team building that improves dental team engagement and performance can involve contests and giveaways. Employee appreciation is huge in team building and employee engagement.

Jesse Sussmen again, says: "Teams with highly engaged employees earn 2x the annual net income of companies with low engagement levels."


Games are a way to bring a team together. Games also encourage a fun work environment. Encouraging good attitudes and employee happiness will bring your team together. A fun activity, such as a game, is easy and can be low in cost. Think of who your dental team is when picking a game. Does a fun game look like a little flag football, or does it look like dental bingo? A great winning prize is a way to build your practice's team engagement. We love this list of office games by culture camp for inspiration.


Volunteering in the community

Bringing your team together is a way to strengthen who you are as a team. Spending time to be selfless and invest in something other then your practice is a win-win. It rewards your team and your community. You can even take advantage of being a team and get t-shirts you wear while volunteering. Let your community know your practice's team is there for them.


Boost Dental Team Motivation with Engagement

Why Team Building says: "70% of US workers are not engaged at work."

What is employee engagement? It's the relationship between a company and an employee. This ties in with team building because a team should include the company and the employees it employs. Team building creates employee engagement which boosts happiness and motivation. Engagement looks like connection and collaboration. An easy addition to boosting engagement in your team building is to include 1-on-1 reviews and encouragement on a regular basis.


Final Thoughts - Benefits of a strong team

  • A positive team environment produces positive results.
  • A connected team will have exceptional communication skills that have been built outside the office.
  • A team creates more profit due to working cohesively.
  • Strong teams work for each other and with each other, not against each other; the attitude is outward, not inward.
  • Patients can feel the difference between a happy and connected team versus a group of employees. Investing in your team's employment experience is investing in your patient's care experience.

balanced scorecard for dentistry

Topics: Dental Practice HR, Dental Team