Ideas for team building at your practice

Hiring the right people for your team is key to the success and growth of your practice, but it’s only the beginning. Building a positive culture where people are enthusiastic about working with one another and don’t want to leave requires ongoing time and effort. Here are a few proven team building ideas that will help you attract and retain great hygienists, assistants and associates.

Block off regular team lunches

The dental industry is notorious for taking short lunches, or skipping lunch altogether. From appointments that run over to emergency care, the unpredictable nature of the business can often lead to breaks going by the wayside. This can lead to burnout over the long haul. It also interferes with the opportunity for staff to socialize and connect with fellow team members. Scheduling a monthly or quarterly team lunch gives people a chance to bond in a scenario where they can take their mind off work. In addition to being a powerful team building exercise, lunches out give you a chance to thank employees for their hard work, to make them feel valued and supported.

Play games

Friendly competition can be a healthy way to create fun memories together as a team. People of all ages love playing games. Some simple ideas include:

  • Divide the office in half for a trivia challenge
  • Pictionary
  • Tower building competition using newspaper, popsicle sticks, glue, tape and other common items
  • Set up a cornhole board in the parking lot
  • Water balloon toss on a hot day

Run a holiday gift exchange

A gift exchange can be a lot of fun when run properly. Just be sure to set guidelines, including a spending limit that’s flexible but affordable. You can do it “Secret Santa” style with more sincere gifts or make it a “White Elephant” exchange for laughs.

Set up a team photo wall

Dedicating a space for employees to pin photos that are important to them is a great way to get to know each other. Encourage staff to post memories from different aspects of their lives, including family, vacations, hobbies and other interests. A team photo wall is inexpensive and easy to set up. All you need is a bulletin board or a magnetic whiteboard and a place to hang it.