4 Ways to Increase Healthcare Worker Appreciation for Happier Teams and Healthier Patients

Authentic appreciation is often overlooked and underrated in healthcare environments. Healthcare and dental practices often have high turnover rates and low employee engagement. They may also struggle with team-building. Unsurprisingly, appreciation can dramatically impact your dental employees and working relationships. Happy healthcare environments don’t happen by accident. They happen by appreciation! We’ve witnessed what makes dental practices and dental service organizations successful. Appreciation is crucial for a thriving team. In this article, we will discuss four effective ways to improve appreciation for healthcare workers. These methods offer several benefits.

4 Tips for Healthcare Employee Appreciation

Let Employees Hear Directly From Leaders

Dentists and specialists such as orthodontists, endodontists, and pediatric dentists are just like any other healthcare workers or nurses — they want to feel rewarded for their work beyond the paycheck they receive. Only 62% of healthcare workers say they’re acknowledged for their work by their direct leaders and managers. You can change this in your practice by ensuring your leaders regularly recognize your healthcare workers.
    • Build a culture of appreciation. Notice the daily efforts of your dentists and dental specialists through verbal gratitude, kindness, and recognition.
    • Consider sending out a weekly or monthly email to your team thanking team members for their hard work in a personally meaningful and detailed way rather than sending broad messages that take little thought.

Encourage Peer Recognition

Social recognition is another primary motivator for healthcare employees. To create a culture of appreciation, encourage your staff to recognize each other, regardless of their level. Bring your staff together and ask for their ideas about how they would like to nominate their peers for recognition or what opportunities they would like to appreciate their peers regularly. Creating connections among coworkers can build a strong community and avoid workplace conflicts.

Gift Material Rewards

Material rewards do not need to be expensive to make healthcare staff members feel appreciated. Giving employees small presents like gift cards for coffee or other self-care treats is a great way to reward performance or show them you care. Gifts can be particularly appropriate for health holidays such as:
    • World Health Day (April 7)
    • Dentist’s Day (March 6)
    • World Smile Day (first Friday in October)

Provide Monetary Rewards

When you’re looking to make a more significant impact than a gift card, consider a monetary reward. This can be as straightforward as a cash bonus or additional PTO. You might find these monetary rewards helpful for appreciating your employees around holidays like Christmas and their birthdays.

Why Healthcare Employee Appreciation Matters

Better employee morale equals higher quality of patient care. When your healthcare employees feel satisfied and seen at work, their morale becomes apparent in the quality of care they offer patients. This trickle-down effect will show up in reviews your practice receives, patient retention, and even referrals to your office.

Appreciated Employees Increase Their Engagement and Invest in Your Practice

When you build a foundation of trust and appreciation with your employees, they are more likely to receive feedback with optimism and enjoy their work to a greater degree. Research shows that people need to hear five positive things to outweigh every one negative thing that they hear. In an industry where 41% of healthcare and dental professionals are actively looking for another job, creating a positive work environment that doesn’t feel critical or damaging to employee engagement is essential. This will likely improve employee retention and how much employees are willing to go the extra mile for you and your patients.

Improved Relationships Decrease Burnout

Employee recognition can feel trite and routine to employees. It is possible to overcome this obstacle, though. Rooting your healthcare worker appreciation efforts in genuine relationships is vital. When you and your management team develop a keen awareness of how individual employees contribute, improve, and make a difference in their workplace, you have a better chance of increasing employee morale. Connecting with your employees through appreciation strengthens relationships and helps prevent burnout — which is so high in healthcare settings — in your team. We’ve helped hundreds of dental offices and dental service organizations across the U.S. and Canada find the dental professionals and specialists they need. But that’s not all. Our services reach beyond recruitment to retention. In other words, we play the long game with you. Click here to get in touch with our team about your hiring and team needs.


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