5 ways to ensure your dental staff has a great holiday season


From throwing a holiday party to giving your employees some well-deserved time off, here are some tips to keep your staff in the holiday spirit.

It’s that time of year again - the holiday season. For some of us, this is a magical time of year. For others, the holidays come with a lot of stress, whether it be financial strain, family conflict or difficult emotions.

As a dentist, you may be wondering how to meet the expectations of your staff, especially if your employees were disappointed at what you didn’t do for them last year. Let’s take a look at how you can handle things differently this season.

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Click through the slides to learn how you can ensure your staff has a great holiday season.



1. Money

Aka cold, hard cash. Do you think that your staff wants boxes of candy or old presents you’re trying to regift? Guess again. They want what everyone wants - some extra money in their pocket. No need to wait in long lines to return this gift after the holidays. And don’t give them a gift card; it limits what they can purchase and isn’t appreciated as much as cash.

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True story: One year my boss gave all of us gift cards for dinner and a movie. This was a $50 card. But guess what? It really wasn’t worth $50 once you had to have the fees to use the card deducted. It wasn’t going to pay for two people to see a movie, let alone $25 for two for dinner? When I drew attention to this issue, I was told by my boss, “I don’t care. We wanted to give you dinner and a movie, and the fact that you aren’t getting $50 value from it doesn’t matter to us.” That was like a slap in the face. Why give a gift that says it is $50 in value but is really only $44? Why does another company get that $6 instead of your staff? It wasn’t about the staff; it was about what management thought they wanted to give. (Don’t let the facts get in the way!)


2. Time off - with pay!

You want to be Santa Claus? Then give your staff time off during such a busy season when kids are off of school and everyone is in the holiday spirit. Close the office for a day or two if nothing else. I know, it’s a busy season for college kids to come to the dentist, but you also need to factor in the needs of your staff.


3. A holiday party

This one depends on who you’re talking to. Some people really enjoy their work family, while others want to get away from their coworkers as quickly as possible. There’s a value to having social functions where you can enjoy each other without the pressure of the office. Those events can provide a tremendous amount of good relationship building and a chance to resolve any issues. The ugly part is if alcohol becomes a problem. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to serve alcohol, but your staff might not come without it. People getting drunk and making inappropriate remarks can cause serious challenges. Perhaps schedule a party for January or February when all the holidays are over so that you can enjoy your staff when they are more relaxed and at ease.


4. Recognition

We all want to be acknowledged for the hard work we do. It doesn’t have to be done publicly; giving recognition privately is quite meaningful as well. Whether it’s a note, a card or a handwritten letter, letting your employees know how important their work is to the success of your practice can go a long way.


5. Charity

Some practices donate money to a charity chosen by the employees. This can be a way to build relationships both internally and within the community. It doesn’t have to be donating money; instead, it can be having a group experience volunteering for a worthwhile organization that your staff chooses. Being a part of a team doing something to help a good charity will do volumes to build and maintain a healthy work family.

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All of these ideas will help your employees not just get in the holiday spirit, but also keep that spirit throughout the year. Knowing that you’re part of a team and truly valued goes a long way. So, remember to let your staff know how important they are to you. Don’t think about doing this in a cheap way. Know that the sentiment and thoughtfulness behind it really can help to ensure that your staff has a great holiday season.

Share your stories of what you’ve done for your staff by emailing diana2@discussdirectives.com.

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