A Powerful Practice Success Strategy | Image Credit: © CareCredit
Many dentists are seeking to improve team turnover, patient retention, and case acceptance. The answer may be as simple as creating a culture of appreciation for both patients and the team. Words of affirmation like “thank you,” “I appreciate you” and “great job” are more than a love language; they may be a powerful way to improve your team’s morale, productivity and loyalty. My friend and colleague Heather Colicchio, president, and founder of the American Association of Office Management (AADOM), joins me to discuss the power of positive reinforcement and how it may impact your practice’s and patients’ health.
Bete Johnson (BJ): Heather, this September CareCredit, in partnership with AADOM, will be celebrating Office Manager Appreciation Month. The power of appreciation is so important for not only office managers, but the entire dental team. Let’s start with the “why”–why do you think saying even a simple thank you can impact the practice, team, and patients?
Heather Colicchio (HC): It starts by understanding why people work–what motivates them to not only meet but exceed expectations. Of course, there’s compensation and benefits and those are important. But I’ve found for many professionals, especially in healthcare and dentistry, making a positive difference and feeling appreciated is also important and often drives their job satisfaction, productivity, and longevity with a practice.And when someone is happy, productive, and committed to the success of the practice, they are an invaluable member of the team.
BJ: Another powerful aspect of appreciation is how it impacts the patient journey, including treatment acceptance and retention. When I get exceptional service and am treated like a valuable customer, I know it affects what I buy in that moment and if that company now has a customer for life who recommend them to friends and family.
Heather Colicchio President and Founder of AADOM
September is Office Manager Appreciation Month and I know you join me in encouraging dentists and their teams to purposefully make time to recognize their #AwesomeOM. CareCredit has created a site (https://omam.carecreditvirtual.com) that has ideas, inspiration, and free resources to make it easier for the team to join in the festivities.
HC: Totally agree. That internal desire to help is a strong motivator, but it only goes so far. The team’s ability and desire to deliver that type of care and experience starts at the leadership level. The same goes with creating a culture of appreciation. It starts with the doctor taking the time to recognize everyone on the team and how they contribute to the success of the practice on a day-to-day basis. Like you said, a simple thank you can be very powerful as long as it is authentic.
BJ: Heather, let’s talk about one easy way the doctor can lead his team in appreciation. September is Office Manager Appreciation Month and I know you join me in encouraging dentists and their teams to purposefully make time to recognize their #AwesomeOM. CareCredit has created a site (https://omam.carecreditvirtual.com) that has ideas, inspiration, and free resources to make it easier for the team to join in the festivities. Then, on September 1st, a special virtual experience at the same site just for the Office Manager or Administrator will go live with games, affirmation, kudos and much more! Last year we had thousands of office managers enjoy the celebration and hope we have even more join this year.
HC: Yes! Every year the celebration gets bigger and bigger. Last year we saw so many in-practice celebrations on social media (#OMAM, #AwesomeOM). It was wonderful to see the unique and fun ways they celebrated. I’d like to share a few more ideas on how to participate in OMAM. Flowers, breakfast and lunch treats, handwritten notes, morning huddle kudos and even a “Our Office Manager Makes Us Happy Hour” once business is done for the day. In September at the AADOM annual meeting we announce and celebrate the AADOM Practice Administrator of the Year. So, the month is full of celebration, community and fun.
BJ: The best thing about recognition and appreciation is that it’s not monetized, yet can be so valuable to everyone on the team, the patients and the practice. So let me be the first to say, “Thank you to all the office managers. The past few years have been unique to say the least and we’ve witnessed so many leaders in the dental practice putting in extraordinary energy and effort to ensure that their patients and practice are well taken care of. Enjoy Office Manager Appreciation Month!”