Don’t be a Grinch! Share holiday treats with the whole team

Amanda Hill, RDH.
Amanda Hill, RDH.

We are smack in the middle of the winter holiday season. And as this time of year arrives, so, too, do the goodie baskets. Patients bring thank-you treats, and referring offices deliver glad tidings and appreciation gifts. But where do those treats go?

Social media is lighting up with stories of gifts arriving and immediately disappearing. Some gifts might have an intended recipient, but what about the baskets filled with goodies or the tin of homemade cookies? Is it fair for one person to hoard them all? Even if they own the dental practice?

A few social media stories recount tales where offices received gift cards for the exact number of team members, and the doc or the office manager hoarded them all. Talk about Ebenezer Scrooge coming back from Christmas past!

This is not the way to build culture and foster team building. In DentalPost's 2024 salary survey, one of the top three motivators for changing jobs was a more positive work environment or a more appreciative employer. Hoarding the cookies does not say team or appreciation. It feels more like a toddler screaming mine and running away. If this happens in your practice, your team members might be the next to run away.

Appreciation is a powerful motivator. When team members are acknowledged and valued, they are far more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to the practice. Every person in the office contributes to the success of the practice. From sterilizing instruments to performing procedures to billing so you get paid or even helping a lost patient find their way to the office, think of how your office would function without those key people. 

Hoarding gifts sends a message that some individuals are more concerned with accumulating personal perks than recognizing the team's collective efforts. If you want to end the year on a high note (and with a team that will show up on January 2), share the goodies and give an extra thank-you for all they did to contribute to the practice.

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