3 Ways to Have More Fun in Your Dental Practice
The end of the year is going to be full of reports, planning, end-of-year campaigns and holiday activities. No doubt, it’s a stressful time inside and out of the office. If you are the leadership in the office, it can be hard to muster up a higher level of excitement to get others excited as well. Putting a little spark in someone’s day is not only a bonus for them, but it’s also greatly satisfying as an office manager and co-worker. I’ve listed three main areas in which you can implement fun and engaging activities for your staff:
1. Quarterly or Monthly Meetings: Have your meeting outside the office! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the team outside of office walls having a good time and doing something outside of the same, old routine. For example, most bowling alleys have party rooms so you can still have your business meeting, but then the team can engage in some friendly competition. You can also consider getting the team together for a volunteering activity such as Habitat for Humanity or helping out at a local shelter. This article is a great place to start for a few ideas: https://www.themuse.com/advice/5-teambuilding-activities-your-employees-wont-hate
If you prefer to stay in the office, get the blood moving before and after you talk business. Ideally, you want a stress-free, informative meeting. With the understanding this doesn’t always happen, plan an activity that will expel some nervous energy. One of my favorite activities was a game that involved freezing several t-shirts (click here for the instructions). The end result was laughing, panting and a team that had a great time! Musical chairs is a classic game that never gets old, gets everyone moving and only requires minimal planning and supplies. Remember, having a little fun can lead to a more relaxed environment for good ideas and creativity to grow!
2. The Morning Huddle: Obviously you don’t have the same amount of time like you would for an extensive activity or outing, so you have to think “short and sweet.” I always end the huddle with something fun so you finish up on a positive note. Try an interesting trivia question or a quick game of Simon Says. Perhaps, you can take a beach ball and cover it with questions, throw it to someone in the huddle and have them answer which question is under their left thumb. That person then throws it to someone else in the group. If the office has had productive week and you don’t have a bonus system, a money grab bag is a sure way to wake everyone up.
Again, huddles are tough for non-morning people, like me. It took a long time to get myself excited enough to motivate other people and there were some days I had to fake it – all day. But it worked! The satisfaction of seeing everyone be more productive without even realizing it was well worth it. Imagine what kind of boost your staff can have with a positive start to their day!
3. During the day: This is probably the toughest one. I know from experience that you get so caught up in other things, that the day passes and you can’t remember if you had fun or not. If your computer system has as messenger option, this is a great opportunity to send out funny jokes or team-member accomplishments throughout the day. For example, if someone adds a treatment to the schedule or resolves an issue, give them a “high-five” via messenger.
In one office I worked with, we had a scavenger hunt that required the staff to get the patients involved. I divided the team into groups and throughout the day they had several tasks to accomplish – get a patient to take a picture with them, take a funny picture (one hygienist traded places with the patient and made it look like she was being attacked by an explorer), have a patient draw a self-portrait, to name a few. It was a hit! The patients that participated loved it and it helped make the incredibly busy day fly by.
I can’t say it is always easy to get everyone on board and it does take some planning, but seeing the team having a good time is very gratifying. Get creative, play on the upcoming holidays (think ugly sweater contest on social media or food drive for the local pantry), get everyone involved and have some FUN!
Bridget Fay, BBA