With the Holiday Season rapidly approaching, now is the time to plan a fun way to recognize the contributions of your team members. One of the common denominators that I have observed among successful practices is that they have a true team culture, where the team members are constantly working together toward common goals. In fact, I have a quote that I like to use to emphasize this point, “Culture eats strategy for lunch”. What I mean by that quote is that all of the brilliant strategy in the world will fail unless you have created a positive culture of success in your practice. While the creation of this culture should be a constant work in progress, there are some things you can do accelerate creating a positive team culture in your practice. This idea is a great way to both recognize your team and work on that positive team culture.
Here’s my recommendation. Oh, before I go any further let’s recognize that most people enjoy an element of surprise! So, I’d like you to enlist your scheduling coordinator to help you pull this off. Ask your scheduling coordinator to set up a three-hour block of time one afternoon (perhaps 2-5pm) in early December with fake patients. She should just fill the schedule with an afternoon of fake patients so that it looks like you are working as usual. Reserve a limo to arrive at the appointed time. When the driver walks through your front door, you and your scheduling coordinator can announce that you really don’t have any more patients today, but rather you have a special treat to recognize them for all they do to make your practice a success!
All together, pile into the limo and head to the shopping mall. On the way to the shopping mall distribute envelopes to each team member filled with an equal amount of cash (you determine the appropriate amount). After you distribute the envelopes you then announce the rules of this game. The instructions are that they are to spend the money on themselves. No buying gifts for anyone else! On the way back to the office they are each going to do a ‘show & tell’ exercise to show what they bought. The person who spends closest to the amount gifted gets a restaurant gift certificate. Any money not spent goes back to the office party fund.
I have done this exercise many times with clients and each time we have had a blast! The team members have a great time getting to treat themselves with something special just for them. The show & tell exercise helps them understand more about each other. Pulling off the surprise requires some ingenuity and is fun by itself. Most of all, it is just a great way to recognize your amazing team. Have fun and Keep Smiling!