8 ways to increase team engagement

It’s June. In the south, school is out. Pools are open and the rising temperatures are calling like a siren, luring you into “vacation mode.” Ah, summertime.

But here’s a reality check: you’re about to close the door on the first half of 2017, which leaves you about six months to make your annual goals. Forget about the guy down the street. You are now competing with pool parties, beach houses, and sandy shores for the attention of your team.

Rather than sacrificing this critical third quarter to seasonal distractions, make summer work for you. Here are eight ways to focus your team’s engagement in the office by leveraging what’s going on outside of it.

1. Implement morning huddles.

Start the day off right with a 15-minute team meeting. Set goals, share wins, and establish expectations for the day. Use this as an opportunity to focus your team, recognize staff members, and gain valuable input.

2. Buy your team lunch just because.

Support your local deli or restaurant and surprise your team with a catered lunch. I often hire food trucks to come to our office to express gratitude for my team’s hard work. It creates buzz and excitement that goes a long way. Consider doing it picnic style.

3. Hold a contest.

There is nothing better than a contest with a cool prize to get people to work harder for their goals. Whenever we feel like the steam has run out of an initiative here at Scheduling Institute, we create a contest. It immediately reenergizes our team and gives them something fun to work toward. Rewards can vary from a tote bag full of beach necessities to tickets to a local summer concert or weekend getaway.

4. Get out of the office.

OK, I said it! Get out and regroup. Plan an outing to the local stadium to see a game. Every year I host a family day for an Atlanta Braves game. We tailgate, play cornhole, eat barbecue, and support the home team. It’s a lot of fun for everyone, and it gets people to relate to each other outside the office.

5. Give back regularly to your community - together.

What better way to bond than over charitable giving? It’s great for your community, it’s great for your employees, and it does wonders for your reputation. Consider sponsoring a Little League team or tournament, or host a movie night in the park or town square.

6. Celebrate wins!

Good news spreads fast and can instantly raise the mood of the environment. At Scheduling Institute, we announce wins before every meeting to get everyone motivated and in a positive mindset. It’s also a reminder that wins are acknowledged and appreciated.

7. Say thank you.

Say it, write it, text it. However you need to communicate your appreciation, do it. Block regular time on your calendar to send thank-you notes to your team members. Go an additional step and include a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop or Starbucks.

8. Never hold back on investing in your people.

Your employees are your human capital - your biggest ROI. They create the environment for your patient experience. Your investment in them pays dividends in better skills and loyalty. With proper training, your team can be responsible for increasing your new-patient numbers each month and retaining the patients you’ve had for years.

I’ve always said new patients are the lifeblood of your practice. And what’s critical to your new-patient numbers? Your team! Don’t let summer take their minds off your business. Sure, have fun. Vacation. Enjoy family time. But prepare for battle. Beat summer at its own game by using it to reengage your team and ultimately grow your practice.


Jay Geier is the founder of the Scheduling Institute and creator of the world-renowned five-star telephone training program that has revolutionized the way dentists attract new patients to their practices. He is finally revealing his secret for record-setting results, 600+ new patients in one week. Visit schedulinginstitute.com/DE to learn how he did it.

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