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12th May 2017

How to motivate your dental team

Some of the items on Forbes ‘The Most Popular Employee Perks’ list may be slightly out of reach, but there are many small, but effective, methods of creating a positive work culture in your dental practice and motivating your dental team. Building a strong team that are motivated and work together well, is the result of recognising and rewarding your employees and understanding that everyone wants to be a valued contributor to the business.

Here are some small things that not only help create a solid team bond, but can impact on the future growth of your practice.


Communal breakfast

With around two thirds of the population skipping breakfast, why not ensure everyone has a healthy start to the day and eat breakfast together? Companies like Morrisons and Dropbox have begun the trend of offering their employees breakfast as a perk. Not only does it encourage their employees to get to work earlier, it also provides the opportunity to mix and socialise with colleagues. It’s a good way to start the day in a positive mood and spark conversations that can lead to great ideas.

You could even make it a monthly or weekly get-together by heading to your local café – perhaps team it with a staff meeting as well? Look into a special working lunch or breakfast deal if it becomes a regular occurrence.


Employee recognition scheme

You don’t have to plan out an entire scheme, but implementing some things to recognise individual achievements on a regular basis can make a huge difference on employee turnover and productivity – organisations where recognition occurs have a 14% better employee engagement, productivity and customer service.

Having an ‘employee of the month’ can work well for many businesses, and you can take this slightly further with minimal effort by writing a hand-written thank you note to that person stating their recent achievements. Depending on the size of your practice your staff could nominate one person a month, or you could encourage employees to write down their colleague’s achievements in an ‘appreciation box’. The winner could receive vouchers, an extra day off work or a bonus.


Annual team day out

Pick a quieter time of year and choose a day out activity for you and your team. Event planning company Chillisauce, for example, specialises in great ideas for events and team days out, from cocktail making classes to a Bear Grylls Survival Academy. Even going out for dinner as a team allows you all to break away from the conversation of work and get to know each other as people. There is also evidence to suggest that spending time you’re your employees as a boss has great advantages. Spending six hours a week with a boss results in employees allegedly becoming 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged and 15% more motivated than those who only spend one hour a week. Choose an activity that suits the whole team and that doesn’t have to be a large financial cost.

Here are some ideas:

  • Summer barbeque at yours or a team members house
  • Go-karting
  • Escape rooms
  • Comedy club
  • Volunteer in your local community


Enter an awards ceremony

There are now a number of dental ceremonies available to enter in the UK, and there are significant benefits from taking this initiative.

Having the confidence to enter can be daunting, but it is important to acknowledge your own hard work and be proud of your achievements – whether it be your general patient care, your contribution to the community or your ability to facilitate a particular demographic such as children. The process of putting your entry together means you can view your business from a fresh perspective, understand where your efforts have taken you and where you can continue to grow. Getting the whole team involved also enhances their engagement in the business and future ideas.

This can also be used as an opportunity to nominate an employee or team member you feel has gone particularly above their call of duty. The Dentistry Awards and The Private Dentistry Awards both offer ‘Best Team Member’ which picks winners regionally, giving everyone the best chance being awarded.

Whether you are shortlisted, awarded ‘highly commended’ or crowned the winner – all can have a tremendous impact on the environment back in the practice. Read these testimonials from previous Dentistry Awards winners.


Hopefully you’ve taken away some tips on how to motivate your dental team. The success of any business relies on the efforts of everybody, so putting in that little recognition could make all the difference when you’re trying to reach your goals.


The Dentistry Awards are currently open to enter. Enter for free now by clicking on the banner below:

The Dentistry Awards

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