Outside-of-the-Box Benefits

Statistics show that most people do not leave their jobs because of pay or lack thereof. A perceived lack of value can cause team members to seek new opportunities if they do not feel engaged or that their work is meaningful. That leaves it up to us as employers to think of benefits that are outside of the box and create value for the entire team.

Practice managers and owners must ensure that teams are challenged, motivated and valued. The question then is how do we do this if it is not always about a pay rate? There are many opportunities to reward existing team and potential team members.

Some examples of outside-of-the-box benefits include:

CE for the Entire Team

Outside-of-the-Box benefits - Team CE opportunities
Outside-of-the-Box benefits – Team CE Opportunities

Sure, we all know that dentists, assistants and hygienists can earn CE, but did you know that office team members can, too? Yes, they can, and it really does go towards something! The American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM) is a great resource for dental front office team members, and they offer a Fellowship for their members that requires a certain number of CEs every year. Offering this benefit to your front office team is a great way to show them that you value them and what they do for the dental practice.

Clothing and Uniform Allowance

Outside-of-the-box Benefits: Uniform Allowance
Outside-of-the-box benefits: Uniform Allowance

Whether everyone on your team wears scrubs or not, a simple benefit to offer your team is a clothing allowance. This helps defer the cost of this expense from the team members, and it allows your team to coordinate colors if that is the preferred look for your practice. If desired, the front office team members can use this benefit to purchase professional clothing.

Vacation and Family Sick Time

Outside-of-the-box benefits: Vacation and Family Time
Outside-of-the-box benefits: Vacation and Family Sick Time

The workforce is made up of parents that are struggling to find a good job and take care of their families, and while it is understood that most dental teams need everyone present, sometimes life happens. When a child gets sick or a parent needs to help at a school function, flexibility in the schedule allows for the team to be with their families. This can be done with extra help from the entire team. Most people understand how difficult it can be to raise a family and have a full-time career. Create a benefit system that allows for the team to take care of their family, and they WILL be loyal to the practice.

Offering benefits to the team is not anything new, but thinking outside of the box for those benefits may help dental teams keep great team members. Use these suggestions or poll the team for reasonable suggestions for benefits that they might like to see added. It not only allows the team to be a part of the process, it demonstrates the practice’s willingness to go the extra mile.

Have you found any outside-of-the-box benefits for your practice that have been successful? Share your experiences in the comments!

10 thoughts on “Outside-of-the-Box Benefits

  1. Why doesn’t the other part of the dental team receive these benefits? Dental technicians!

  2. I think these are all pretty basic and standard benefits in most dental offices…i don’t think offering sick/vacation days and a uniform allowance are really offering “outside the box” ideas…they should be standard benefits in any office…special things like office outings…sending everyone home early when the office is slow and still paying them (based on your discretion) a few hours…take each employee aside and tell them that because they mean so much to the practice, the “practice” has decided to give them xx hours extra to make up for you having to leave early”..they think it’s just for “them”! and probably won’t discuss it with another employee because they feel like they are “spoiled” by us..I’ve done this for years…I’ll get massage certificates and will sneak it into someone’s coat or purse..things like that are “outside the box” to me!

  3. Wait a minute? You think we should these people more entitlements?
    Next thing your going to tell me is we should pay them above minimum wage?
    Letting them work in an air conditioned office should be the only benefits they should want!

  4. I love Suzanne’s suggestions of outside the box benefits and have been in office’s that do this as well. We have used gift cards for dinner for the family to enjoy, movie tickets and flower arrangements sent on their anniversary of employment dates. Anything unexpected is always appreciated.

  5. Have some snacks and drinks in the office for staff. If someone works through their lunch, go get them lunch. Doctor included. Appreciating staff gives you appreciative staff. Also don’t forget the docs and owners. We need to appreciate them too. If you nickle and dime others, they treat you the same. Carma!! Love your info Lisa.

  6. This year my boss sent my co-worker, her family, my family and I to the Beaches resort in Turks and Caicos for our 5 year anniversary. Each staff member will get an option of what they can do for their 5 year anniversary! This is on top of all the options given above ( which I agree shouldn’t be considered ” out of the box” these options should be standard) We take off the first and last day of school (pediatric practice) and one of those days we do a fun outing on both of the day’s the staff gets paid as well.

  7. I work in a small office and I have been employed here for 20 years. These are great ideas. I do have to say we as employees do feel taken advantage of a lot of the time. Was great seeing these ideas. Thanks

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