Internal Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Team’s Morale  

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors - Elaina Wharton

Internal marketing strategies can be a powerful way to boost team morale, especially in today’s fast-paced work environment, where employees must consistently perform at their best. As we know, hiring these days has challenges, so it’s even more essential to show your team appreciation. Acknowledging goals and rewarding team members for their efforts is critical to creating a positive and productive work environment. When team members feel their contributions are recognized and valued, they are more motivated to work toward their goals.

Individual and team overall performance can be recognized in several ways, such as verbal recognition, certificates, bonuses, promotions, or team outings. These rewards can inspire and motivate team members, resulting in increased productivity, improved communication, and a stronger sense of unity. It can also foster a culture of appreciation and collaboration.

Here are some effective internal marketing strategies that offices can use to boost team morale:

1. Communication

Effective communication is key to building trust and facilitating open dialogue among team members. Organizations can use different communication channels, such as daily huddles, team meetings, newsletters, social media, or instant messaging applications, to keep their team members updated and engaged. With better communication comes enhanced collaboration. This can lead to improved problem-solving and a more positive work environment. When team members feel included, they perform at their best!

2. Recognition and Rewards

Recognizing the efforts of team members and rewarding their contributions can greatly improve morale. Rewards can take many forms, such as bonuses, promotions, or simple gestures like team lunches or shout-outs. For example: If one of our team members passes an exam, we like to decorate their locker, give them recognition in our monthly newsletter to our referring offices, post about it on social media, and give them a small gift, such as a candle that says, “She believed she could, and she did.” Depending on the exam or class passed, you can get creative with the gifting process. I will tell you from experience it can mean everything to a team member to see the love and support they receive from the dentist and their colleagues.

Another way we recognize our team is by honoring an employee of the month. Our HR system tracks “Kudos” or praise given. If your HR system does not provide this feature, you might also try a Kudos Jar. Decorate it and make it fun! The team member with the most Kudos at our monthly team meeting gets crowned Employee of the Month. They are given a pin to keep and wear, and they spin the prize wheel, which consists of gift cards, movie tickets, cash, free lunch, etc. Lastly, we take their picture, display it in our reception area, and feature it in our monthly newsletter. This gets our patients, team, and referring offices involved and allows them to congratulate the selected team member.

Dental Assistant, Hygienist, Administrative Professionals Week, and Dentists Day are important weeks and days in the dental field you don’t want to miss! Get creative and get your team members involved! This can be another great way to collaborate. Our admin team loves helping with Dental Assistant’s Week and vice versa. Etsy, Amazon, and Pinterest are wonderful resources for ideas.

When team members are recognized and rewarded for their hard work, it can boost their motivation and encourage them to continue to perform at a high level. This can lead to increased productivity and better patient care.

3. Training and professional growth opportunities

Providing training and professional growth opportunities can help team members feel valued and engaged in their roles. It also helps them learn new skills to improve their performance and contribute to the team’s success. AADOM is an excellent example of this. We’ve had several administrative team members join AADOM, and seeing their growth as a result of this move has been amazing. We encourage our team members with experience to go for their FAADOMs. We also encourage our admin team to join the local Contra Costa AADOM Chapter or our clinical team to further their education and skill sets. This can be with courses, conventions, and training. Because of this, we have team members cross-trained and eager to learn every aspect of the practice, as they feel empowered and supported. This can lead to improved retention rates and a more stable and reliable team.

4. Celebrate milestones

Celebrating team milestones, such as project completion, goal achievement, or even work anniversaries, can help build a sense of camaraderie and momentum. In my practice, we are BIG on celebrating! When hired, we have each new team member fill out a survey that asks for their favorite food, sweets, smells, colors, stores, hobbies, pets, etc. This live document can be edited as many times as they like. It helps when planning for birthdays or anniversaries. For anniversaries, I greet them with their favorite coffee. They are recognized at the huddle, in our newsletter, and on social media. In addition, I have a template with a dollar amount allotted for each anniversary. Maybe the first year, they get a small flower arrangement with a card from the dentist and a $25 gift card. Each year the value increases. Team members witness this process and have something to look forward to as the years progress. For milestone anniversaries, we decorate desks and try to get as creative as possible. When it comes to birthdays, we go all out! This is my team’s favorite part. We decorate their desks, the breakroom, order their favorite lunch, and a cake. Then we all contribute $10 into the pot, which we use to get a gift card and flowers. It’s a great way to show some love to your team member and make them feel extra special on their birthday.

5. Flexibility

Giving team members the flexibility to work from home or flex their schedules can improve their work-life balance and help them better manage their personal and professional responsibilities. This increases job satisfaction, which in turn improves morale. We’ve had some team members need to adjust their schedules to drop their children off in the morning or maybe leave early to attend their son’s baseball games. I encourage an open-door policy, so your team members feel comfortable sharing their obstacles. This will help retain your team and show them that you care.

In conclusion

An internal marketing strategy focusing on effective communication, recognition, rewards, training and development opportunities, milestone celebrations, and flexibility can significantly improve team morale and contribute to a positive work environment that benefits the team and the practice. This will also lead to better patient satisfaction. Patients are more likely to have a positive experience when treated by a happy, enthusiastic team, and invested in their care. As a result, this will lead to more word-of-mouth referrals as patients are more likely to recommend a practice with a strong and dedicated team.

Take AADOM for a test drive today!

About the Author

Headshot of Elaina Wharton

Elaina Wharton, FAADOM, has been working alongside Dr. Ali Alijanian…Click to open link in new tab… for the past 18 years. She joined his oral surgery practice in 2005 as a certified surgical assistant. She quickly found herself cross-trained throughout each role in the office before growing into her position as a practice administrator. In addition to managing the practice, Elaina is the coordinator for the Partnership Study Club in Walnut Creek, CA…Click to open link in new tab…. In 2016, she became a fellow of AADOM and has served as the President of the Contra Costa, CA, local Chapter since 2019. When not wearing her many dental hats, you can find her on the sidelines cheering on her two children at their baseball and softball games.

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