Stressed About Employee Salaries?

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Team Appreciation Doesn’t Mean Cash


Dear Sharyn,

I’ve heard you talk about why bonuses don’t work in the dental office but if I eliminate cash rewards, I don’t know how to acknowledge my team. And I don’t think I can stop the Christmas bonuses without causing a mutiny. So, what do you suggest?

C.S., Indiana

Dear C.S.,

We unfortunately conflate team appreciation, recognition and motivation with money. While money is always useful and sometimes appreciated, cash by itself doesn’t lead to employees feeling valued or recognized for their contribution.

What does work is communicating your appreciation in a way suited to each individual. I just read The Five Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace and it illuminates the different ways employees like to be acknowledged.

If you want to take action right now and acknowledge employees who have made an outstanding contribution or who have just had a difficult week, here are some ideas:

  • Handwritten thank-you note sent home
  • Flowers sent home
  • Limo rides to and from work
  • Massage therapy/reiki treatments
  • Group trip to nail salon, pottery class, miniature golf
  • Cooked meal to take home
  • Thank you notice about the team in your town’s paper
  • Charm bracelets engraved with words from your philosophy
  • Haircut certificate at their favorite salon
  • Specially chosen book
  • Upgraded instruments or ergonomic chair
  • Photo certificate for professional portraits
  • Online greeting card
  • House cleaning certificate
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Inspired Us to Dream Bigger, and it Works

“As an Office Manager, I’ve seen a great difference in my practice since starting with Sharyn. Three years ago our staff was in turmoil with a lot of infighting and gossip and some jealousy directed towards me.

I had given up because everything I did was judged. Now I have learned to have more one-to-one communication and by being more vulnerable with individuals I found my leadership voice. As a team, we’re all focused on the same goals.

Last year, in August we produced $88,000. This year we’re on track to produce $111,000 this month. I know it’s because we learned how to follow through with patients and communicate our expectations while building our systems.

Sharyn has gotten us out of our comfort zone and inspired us to dream bigger and it works.”

–Sharon St Pierre, Sperbeck Dental Care

The Stress-Free Guide to Attract World-Class Dental Employees

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