When we think of uniforms for a workplace, many may think of police officers, military members, or flight attendants. The dental industry is constantly changing and becoming more and more competitive. As dental office managers, we are faced with many day to day issues, and maintaining a competitive edge for our practice has become a very important focus for me.
One way to stand out in this competitive dental industry is the implementation of uniforms for both your clinical and administrative team members. I’m sure many if not all, practices require uniforms for the clinical team members. But how many practices require uniforms for the administrative team?
This is a wonderful opportunity for your practice to make a great first impression for your patients as well as provide a marketing and branding opportunity for the practice.
Uniforms in the dental office: Why it matters
As a former flight attendant, I have always been a proponent of uniforms in my dental practice. Many years ago, we had a “Dress Code” for the administrative team, which required “Business Attire” and prohibited things such as jeans, shorts, sneakers. At one point, we even went so far as to limit the color scheme to black, white, and grey.
I can tell you this was not successful. First of all, everyone had their own idea of what business attire was, and secondly, I spent more time than I cared to, trying to enforce this type of dress code. I was finally able to persuade the doctors to provide uniforms for the administrative team. I went back to what I knew to be successful in my previous years as a flight attendant (although I will say 25 years ago, we were held to an even higher standard than what I see today, but that is a topic for a separate article).
There are many benefits for your dental practice and the employees when you implement uniforms in the dental office. Uniforms create a professional, unified, and polished image for the dental practice, as well as make your employees easily identifiable to your patients.
As mentioned earlier, uniforms can help create a more positive first impression and provide marketing opportunities for the practice. Uniforms can also create a sense of unity among the team.
I have also received positive feedback from many team members about the uniforms. The two things they like most about uniforms are:
- Not having to spend their own money on work clothes
- Not having to think about what to wear to work.
My practice now requires all dental practice administrators to wear the practice issued uniform. We offer one color and several styles of blouses and sweaters to choose from, to allow for all body types.
The administrative team can wear black, grey, or white business slacks or skirts of their choice. We also provide a black dress and an accent sweater.
To complete the look, we have personalized name badges for the entire team. These are not the typical plastic name badges with a pin closure. Our name badges are executive metal badges with a magnetic backing that displays our logo, practice name, employee name, and position.
Implementing uniforms in the dental office will require a financial commitment from the practice. However, this should be viewed as an investment, and the benefits will outweigh the initial cost.
If you are considering uniforms, discuss this with your doctor and your team. Remember, you won’t be able to please everyone, so just keep the focus on what’s best for your practice.
Meet the Author
Luci Berardi is a Fellow of the American Association of Dental Office Management (FAADOM). She is known for providing insightful tips on making your dental practice stronger.