With the pandemic hitting dental offices, there can definitely be a struggle in maintaining motivation and morale within the dental team. Recent studies have shown that a large number of employees are struggling with loneliness. And the same amount of people found it difficult communicating online as well as in person. We understand the challenges of finding methods to motivate your staff throughout this period of uncertainty.
In this article, we are going to suggest different strategies that you could apply in your dental office to motivate your dental team after the pandemic.
Strategies to Motivate the Dental Team
Speaking on the concept of motivation, it’s important to maintain the idealistic mindset when working with your dental team. Creative thinking, motivation, and innovation all stem from one concept. By providing support, empathy, and recognition, it will ensure that your staff understands that you’re in their corner and that you’re in it together. Another simple method is by giving clear instructions. It pushes the importance of effective communication and will result in a more productive and happier environment for both you as well as your staff.
One of the most essential skills, in order to properly motivate your dental staff, is trust. Knowing that every action you make is supported by your team can make an experience all the less frightening. By ensuring that your staff receives the ideal amount of support without an overbearing amount is by staying in touch. Let them know that if there is any trouble or stress in their life, you will always be there to support.
Taking initiative in these types of situations allows staff to realize that you are not only a co-worker but someone they can trust during this tough time. By establishing this relationship, you are able to not only work on the environment but also the development of each staff member, creating an ideal workplace for your team.
Another very effective method of motivating your staff is through being empathetic. Empathy is completely different from sympathy. Sympathy is a shared feeling which usually results in pity or compassion for another person. On the other hand, empathy is much more personal. Empathy is being able to put yourself in the place of another person and understand how they feel. This should feel like you are identifying with their feelings, leaving them feeling like they aren’t alone.
Dental professionals should keep in touch with their dental team about their feelings and emotions during this tough time. Knowing when they are upset or tired, or if they feel stress or anxiety while working with the fear of COVID-19 infection, can give you a better understanding of how to approach different situations.
A portion of the euphoria people feel from accomplishing a task derives from the recognition from others, especially those who they care about. Although a simple skill, the ability to recognize your staff for what they do can be a very effective method in rallying morale and motivation throughout your team. It’s also important to keep in mind that rather than motivating the entire team, motivate individuals. This allows for a deeper and more meaningful connection between each and every one of your staff.
For example, pull your staff aside and recognize them for their hard work with a little gift like a simple gift card or a little bonus, especially when they are risking their life to work at the moment. Dental professionals rank as one of the occupations with the highest risk of COVID-19 infection. This small act can fuel an individual’s motivation and drive to work towards the betterment of the office.
4. Effective Communication
Communicating with your staff plays hand in hand with the morale of the entire office. By practicing strategies for safe reopening, it’s important to inform your staff of the safety measures that are in place to protect them first and foremost. By providing an environment that feels safe to work in, prevents any anxiety or hysteria to spread within the office about the COVID-19 situation.
Additionally, since the number of in-person appointments will likely be much lower, you can divide your dental team into shifts. However, this requires effective and clear information. Establish a common platform to communicate with all members efficiently or create group chats to allow for proper scheduling.
5. Setting Goals
Things will likely be very different after the restriction ends. Therefore, dental practices need to make changes to their goals. It’s best to have a set of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals.
Sometimes, when setting goals for your team to accomplish, it can be a daunting task, especially if it’s a large goal. By setting up smaller goals along the way to accomplish the big goal, you can motivate your staff to work harder with minor rewards like an afternoon off, a party, and etc. It helps your staff to realize the purpose and ambitions of the bigger picture and how they specifically fit in.
When reopening your office during this pandemic, there will of course be uncertainty. But with simple methods like establishing trust and communication between your staff, it can make one more task less daunting than before. Ensuring the safety of both the staff and the patients are a priority that should be put first.
We will continue to add additional resources regarding practice reopening in the near future. Subscribe to our blog and follow us on social media to keep updated.