I learned today that it is Dental Assistant’s Recognition Week here in the United States. Supported by the American Dental Assistant’s Association the idea is to recognize the contribution dental assistant’s make to our profession, the health of patient’s and the experience of the dental team. I have to admit when I first came across this I was skeptical and a bit cynical about thew whole idea. After the idea settles in I began to wonder what I have done recently to recognize the assistants on our team? For that matter what have I done recently to recognize any of our team members for the incredible contribution they make?
In my experience it is very easy to get accustomed to the routine and only interact with team members when problems arise. Recognizing the positives is in truth more important than working on the areas where improvement is possible. Recognition is at the top of the list of why people love their jobs. All of us want to feel valued, appreciated and important and know that we are important to the rest of the team. People have different ways in which they prefer to be recognized, so find out by asking. There are many people who love a quiet “Thank You” or “Well Done”, and for others this falls short of the mark. If you like to be publicly recognized and have a fanfare made remember that for many people this in uncomfortable. Another important piece of learning for me is that financial reward isn’t all there is to recognition. When people rank why they stay in their jobs ( research done by the Gallup organization), compensation was near the bottom of the list of reasons, while recognition and belonging were at the top.
This week’s celebration accomplished it’s goal for me, and had me reflect on how lucky I am to work with a phenomenal group of people and reconnect with how important it is to let them know that!!!