September is Office Manager Appreciation Month. Angela Martinez and Heather Colicchio share why recognizing #AwesomeOMs is important and how to join in the festivities.
Angela: Dictionary.com defines resilience as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness. Over the past two years, most of us have gone through unique challenges, personally and professionally, which have taken a lot of patience, strength, and resilience. Even now it seems new challenges are put in our paths. When I think of the office managers (OMs) I know, from working in a practice to my current role at CareCredit, I see that theme of resilience.
Heather: I agree. Resilience is the ability to meet difficult challenges with flexibility and grace. The stories I’ve heard from OMs across the country showed me just how powerful the dental team is in taking care of patients, colleagues, and communities. What’s somewhat surprising is how often we don’t take time to recognize the strength and resiliency we see in others—and in ourselves. We need to celebrate each other, but we also need to do a little self-care and self-celebration!
Angela: I think people drawn to a career in dentistry are nurturers and like to raise others up while staying humbly in the background. No matter what job you have, it’s so important, particularly on tough days, to focus on what we contribute personally and professionally. We tend to celebrate big successes, but those successes are really made up of a series of small ones. Small wins may be having no cancellations (win!), no holes in the schedule (win!), and finding a great candidate to add to the team (win!). Individually they culminate in a successful practice.
One easy way to celebrate small wins is during the morning huddle. Have everyone share one small thing they did that helped someone else or made them happy. The “small stuff” can inspire others and often provides a new perspective when things don’t go exactly as planned. Or at the end of the day before everyone leaves for home, take a moment to talk about the good things that happened and recognize those who contributed to the day’s success.
Heather: It’s true that the short- and long-term success of the practice is made up of a series of small wins. I believe those wins increase exponentially when people are recognized for their efforts and contributions. Through AADOM, I’ve heard some unique ways teams recognize, reward, and celebrate each other. We feel passionate about the annual OMAM this September. Celebrating OMs doesn’t mean that all team members don’t contribute to the practice’s success; it’s just an opportunity to celebrate those whom I’ve heard self-describe as “magicians” and “jugglers.” CareCredit and AADOM have some big plans for OMAM 2022. We’re celebrating with a special offer to all #AwesomeOMs—both new members and those who want to renew! I’m looking forward to seeing the great things doctors and teams do to recognize their OMs.
Angela: Yes! In past years, thousands of OMs were celebrated with flowers, cakes, and parties, and hundreds of OMs and administrators joined AADOM. This year, we’re expecting big things again in September as additional organizations align with and participate in this event.
CareCredit has created a website for teams to get free resources and ideas to help them celebrate their #AwesomeOMs. OMs can access an amazing experience that includes daily affirmations and virtual fun and games. There’s even a What’s New for You section that demonstrates ways CareCredit can help OMs save time and improve the patient experience by putting the power of simplified financing into the hands of patients. Patients can see if they prequalify for the CareCredit card without impacting their credit score. We’re excited about the custom link and how it’s making OMs’ days a little easier.
Heather: That all sounds amazing. I’d like to share a few more ideas. The team could write “love notes” to their OM/administrator sharing what they love about them—like their sense of humor or ability to handle stress. Everyone could get together after hours for an “our OM makes patients and us happy hour.” How about getting a “We have an #AwesomeOM” banner for the reception area so patients can get in on the fun too?
Angela: There are a lot of ways to show your OM that they are appreciated. It just takes a little effort. We would love to see all the practice celebrations, so add the hashtags #OMAM and #AwesomeOM to your social posts. Visit the OMAM site to get free resources through the month of September.
Heather: This reminds me of a quote by Kara Goucher:“Acknowledge all of your small victories. They will eventually add up to something great.” I think that says it all.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the September 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.