Team building exercises are a great way to bring your dental office staff together and give them tools for interacting effectively with one another. From day to day, the clinical team might be dealing with emergencies while the front office staff is backed up with customers and the hygienist is dealing with the repercussions. If individuals don’t communicate and maintain a healthy attitude, it could affect the business negatively. This is where team building can help.
One of the best ways to get your employees working together as a team is to make them into one. Starting an athletic team can get employees interacting outside of the workplace in a friendly and positive way. Playing a sport together will help employees see each other as part of the team rather than just coworkers. If you don’t have a bolwing or softball league in your area, challenge another office or business to a game, then challenge another. Ultimately this can help employees begin communicating more effectively and use positive reinforcement within the workplace.
At Your Service
The chaos of a dental office can be likened to that of a busy restaurant sometimes, so what better way to emulate a stressful day at the office than with dinner. For this exercise you’ll want to divide your teams in half, each having to cook dinner for the other. You don’t necessarily have to cook anything; you can make sandwiches and salad if you don’t have a kitchen at your disposal. Each team will need a few front house people to take orders and act as serving staff, and the others will be in charge of making food. This is an exercise to have fun with, like using small glasses so the serving staff has to continually fill them. The employees who are dining can be as needy as they'd like to encourage teamwork and time management of those doing the serving.
It is nearly impossible to be angry while you’re smiling. Try it. For this exercise have a list of statements printed out and assign a few to each member. These statements should have demands, complaints, and rude statements written on them. One by one have your team members stand up and practice reading their statement out loud while maintaining a bright cheery smile. You’ll find that it is not an easy feat. It is hard to sound angry when your face is expressing the opposite. What each team member should take away from this exercise is that if you outwardly present yourself positively, it is difficult to express negativity. Next time the office is extremely hectic and things are not running smoothly, use a code phrase like “big smiles” to let everyone know it’s time to be positive.
Stephen Andrew Baldwin became a freelance writer in Seattle, Wash. after graduating from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing. Focusing professionally on web copy, Baldwin has been writing professionally for more than two years, and has been published on a number of websites including eHow.com.