“Inject” More Fun Into Your Dental Practice

Imagine a world where people love their job because it is calm, stress free and generally a happy place all day long. When the people on your dental team are in good spirits, have a positive attitude, are creative, have a sense of humour, enjoy their time at work they will also excel at work.

In the good ol’ days there were a few ways to motivate employees to be better at work. Threaten them or pay them lots of money, now the list of why these are less than ideal is long. There is one approach, though that is showing up more and more in surveys, reports and is gaining headway…make work fun! Watch what a huge difference injecting fun into your dental practice has for motivating teams and enjoy the benefits of a more enjoyable workplace and see the positive effects it will have on change.

Are your team members too serious or stuffy? Take a moment and scan your practice:

  • Can you say, you catch people laughing or smiling while at work?
  • When something funny happens do people stop and appreciate it?
  • Does your practice have fun activities at least one time a month?
  • Are there things to look forward to, like fun giveaways, which invite participation?
  • Do the leaders in the practice exhibit positivity and smile?

If you answered no to some of these questions, does that bother you? Is it ok to see your team suffer from “being too stuffy.” There are many benefits of fun and laughter in the workplace. A few things to look forward to are:

  • Creating an atmosphere that encourages open and honest communication.
  • Laughter releases endorphins in the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise.
  • Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress.
  • Humour can level the playing field to create more equality in power and show people respect and help to build pride in their work.
  • Positivity breeds positivity.

Life is not all fun and games, it takes hard work and dedication to succeed but by helping your team feel like they belong and showing them that your practice stands out, is fun and engaging, will allow them to be a part of something different.

Hopefully, you are convinced you could use a “fun injection” in your practice and take a look at ways to create a fun place to work.

  • It’s possible to take yourself lightly and still be competent and productive. Start to promote the benefits of humor at work and show your team it does not mean you have to be serious all the time.
  • You will need to define what fun is in your workplace and what it is not. Off side jokes, for example, is not a good way to add laughter.
  • Create a “fun calendar”, ideas for fun stuff to do during and after work. Have everyone contribute their ideas.
  • Add fun to meetings, by bringing in things, such as a big beach ball, for instance and throwing it to team members when you want them to participate to increase interaction and give them the floor.
  • Start a meeting with a humorous story or joke or incorporate a “fun minute” in your morning huddle and take turns telling a quick story about the things that make work a joy.
  • Look for tools to let patients know you are a fun company, by giving team members tools to create fun relationship with patients; it will strengthen their relationships.
  • Have a fun recognition program, fun is not a reward for performance, but can be a way to encourage teams to be the best they can be. Playful and goal-oriented fun is best.
  • Respond to fun when it happens, funny things occur all the time, by allowing your team to stop and take a moment gives them an opportunity to see the fun in the event.

Encourage your entire team to leave work behind at the end of the day. This allows them to take their mind off of the seriousness of work for a short period, so they come back to work with a more positive and balanced perspective. Commit to being fun, encourage individuals to develop their own fun style and it will change your approach to work. Start slowly with a few activities and don’t expect things to turn around overnight.

– Michelle Podulsky posted November 14, 2016