When was the last time you showed your dental assistant how much you appreciate their hard work, dedication to your practice, and commitment to patient satisfaction? Showing appreciation is an important step in maintaining a happy dental staff. You can show your dental assistant you appreciate them in several ways. 

Here’s how to show your dental assistant appreciation and why doing so is important. 

Value of Showing Appreciation

Your dental assistant is a hardworking, talented individual who plays a major role in your practice’s success and patient satisfaction. They’ve passed the Dental Assisting National Board and achieved the skills necessary to assist your practice. 

Showing your appreciation for your dental assistants can produce the following benefits:

  • Support work relationships: Your dental team must work together to deliver an optimal patient experience. When specific staff members feel appreciated, they may get along better with other dental office workers and have healthier work relationships. 
  • Morale: Thanking your dental staff can boost morale in your dental office, which may create a sense of loyalty in your team and motivate them to work harder to provide quality dental care. 
  • Productivity: Celebrating your dental assistants can also boost their productivity. They may be more motivated to work faster, see more patients, and book more appointments when they know that you are paying attention to their efforts. 
  • Staff retention: Staff retention has a growing importance in a period of numerous job openings. When you show your dental assistants that you appreciate them, they may be less likely to switch to another job opportunity. Check out our ebook, State of Dental Staffing, for more information. 

Personal vs. Public Recognition: Which Should You Show?

As you consider how to show your appreciation for your dental assistants, you may wonder whether you should opt for personal or public recognition The right method depends on the person.

Some people like being the center of attention and would appreciate a public call out in a staff meeting, team party, or email. Others would feel embarrassed by public recognition and prefer a private conversation. 

Part of being a good dentist is knowing your staff well. Understanding the type of recognition your staff would prefer is just one of the many ways you can show that you appreciate them. 

Ideas To Show Appreciation

You can show that you appreciate your dental assistants in several ways — aside from simply telling them, “thank you.” Here are a few ways to celebrate your dental assistants during Dental Assistant Recognition Week or any other day of the year. 

Handwritten Note

A handwritten note offers a personal, thoughtful touch that shows your dental assistants you’re thinking about them. You can leave the note in their staff locker, mail it to them, or hand it to them in person as they’re walking out for the day. In your note, be sure to include specific details about why you’re thankful for them to ensure that you get your message across well. 

Staff Breakfast or Lunch

Dental staff can easily get stuck in the monotony of their everyday workloads. Taking your dental assistants out for a staff breakfast or lunch can boost morale and tangibly show your appreciation.

You can allow your assistants to vote on the restaurant and close the office for an hour during your meal. Alternatively, you can cater from their favorite restaurant and hold an in-office party to show your appreciation. 

Give a Gift

Giving your dental assistant gifts is a tangible way to show that you appreciate their hard work and want to recognize their dedication to your dental practice. You can approach gifts in two ways: a monetary gift, such as a bonus, or a thoughtful, personalized gift. 

Monetary gifts never go unnoticed by dental assistants. Providing a bonus is an effective way to help your dental assistants feel appreciated. 

Alternatively, you can pick out a thoughtful gift, such as a small tooth figurine, a creative badge reel, or something you know they will personally enjoy. 

For more inspiration, you can also check out our recent post, Dental Assistant Gift Ideas

Plan a Wellness Day

If your dental assistants have been working extra hard lately, you can consider a wellness day as another idea to show your appreciation. Your wellness day may include an all-inclusive spa day, a work party, or a self-care event. 

If you plan your wellness day outside of regular office hours, be sure to make it optional for your dental professionals. No one wants to be forced to come in on their day off, even if it is to do something fun.

Intentionally and Specifically Saying Thank You

While the above gifts are suitable for special events, like Dental Assistant Recognition Week, we recommend taking time outside of those occasions to thank your dental assistant staff regularly. Pulling each assistant aside and offering an intentional, specific “thank you” can go a long way in boosting their morale. We recommend touching on specific reasons you appreciate them, such as:

  • They stayed late last week to fit in an extra oral health exam.
  • They helped a patient with dental anxiety overcome their fears and receive a much-needed cosmetic dentistry procedure. 
  • They received a positive Google review from a restorative dentistry patient. 
  • They helped a new student from the dental school feel comfortable in your office. 

Dental Assistants Recognition Week

According to the American Dental Association, National Dental Assistant Appreciation Week takes place during the first full week of March each year. This week, which the American Dental Assistants Association calls National Dental Assistants Recognition Week (DARW), is a time to acknowledge and recognize your talented dental assistants. 

Use our tips above to show your appreciation toward your assistant staff during Dental Assistants Recognition Week. Also, don’t forget to mark your calendars for Dental Hygiene Month (October) to celebrate your dental hygienist team and National Dentists Day (March 6th) to show appreciation for your doctor team.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the workload for your dental staff, consider incorporating Weave into your office procedures. Request a free Weave demo today to learn more.