Our practice has been rewarding kids for their good work for many years by putting them in our “No Sugar Bug Club” when they have a great checkup. We select a winner twice a year—one child from each of our locations. The winner gets a photo displayed in the office of myself and my business partner giving them their reward: a $50 gift card to Toys “R” Us. It is such fun to see their faces light up when they realize they have won a shopping spree, and in the grand scheme of expenses, $100 per year is pretty nominal. (Trust me: The return on investment on that $100 is incredible!)
Recently, the staff member who is responsible for managing our marketing and social media efforts had the suggestion to recognize an Employee of the Month. Obviously, the idea isn’t new, but we had never implemented anything of the sort. The financial reward is not significant, but the recognized team member is featured on our Facebook page and gets to take advantage of the premium parking spot right near the office. (I realize to a lot of you this may seem like a less than stellar reward, but here in Michigan where the weather can be unforgiving eight months out of 12, our team is quite excited about this benefit!) I love this idea, because it is based on the perception and cooperation of other team members—not just the dentist. We have a box, and if someone did something helpful or extra beneficial, then the person who recognized it jots it down on paper and tosses the note in the box. The team member with the most “votes” gets the recognition—and prime parking for that month.
It is so easy to get caught up in negative thoughts and behaviors on a daily basis that it’s renewing to see the team lifting each other up in praise. We post a status about the Toys “R” Us gift certificate winner and the Employee of the Month on our Facebook page. I practice in a rural community, and very often, these posts are some of our most popular because the parents of the young patients who have won a gift certificate or our recognized employees tend to have many mutual friends on Facebook.
Do you have any incentive programs for your patients or, better yet, your team? I would love to know what other great ideas you have found to be successful!
Colleen B. DeLacy, DDS, FAGD