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Motivation Through Appreciation


Communication gratitude leadership motivation Apr 13, 2022

People often mistakenly believe that salary is the primary motivating factor for employees. When it comes down to it, however, team members just want to know they’re appreciated and that their efforts are being recognized. Team members don’t want to feel taken advantage of, so they deserve a fair and reasonable wage, first and foremost. It’s when you offer something more, something that’s not required, that you truly express to your employees how important they are. Many practices have a bonus system in place to reward employees, but there are plenty of other routes to take. Kirk recently sat down with Robyn Reis to discuss employee compensation, and she noted that she hears job candidates express this desire for appreciation every single day. The concept of benefits is immensely important to employees, so it’s essential that you address it in your practice.      


Think Outside the Box

Many companies take the route of offering standard benefits such as health insurance or a 401k, but what about businesses that can’t afford to do so? Robyn says that it’s still important to reward employees—you just need to come up with creative ways to do so. A bonus system is a straightforward manner of demonstrating appreciation, and you can also tie it into productivity so there’s a higher degree of motivation. Set some goals and offer a bonus when they are met or exceeded. This is a good opportunity to communicate with your team—be honest about the inability to provide full health benefits while expressing your desire to reward hard work. In this manner, you will encourage growth in your practice while also recognizing your team’s achievements.    


However, it’s not always solely about the money, so what can you do to motivate employees beyond a dollar amount? Robyn says many of the candidates she encounters are seeking a better work-life balance, so think about what you can contribute toward giving them a better life. She suggests implementing such creative incentives as a wellness package, gym membership, better parking, or a daycare offset. They’re not incredibly large contributions, but they allow you more opportunities to reward people without spending too much money. It’s not one single aspect that makes an employee feel valued—it’s the whole package. Ask yourself what you can provide that will give them a more fulfilling experience. When you are in a more financially stable position, consider stepping up the value of your rewards. If you’re offering a bonus, increase the amount. Offer additional vacation days, or even a trip—everyone loves a vacation! Sometimes it feels more special to receive a reward that’s not money.


Improving Lives

It's not just about a tangible reward—it’s the satisfaction of working for someone who appreciates them. As Kirk says, “People have to like who they are as a result of working for you,” so make your practice a place where they want to be. You’re not legally required to offer benefits, so when you express your appreciation, it matters that much more. Whatever bonus system you implement—be it monetary or otherwise—should be done with the purpose of creating a workplace that fosters the growth of your team members. Your practice should be a positive, healthy space in which to work—the healthier your practice is, the more profitable it will be, and the better you’ll be able to provide for your team in the future. 


If you need assistance with implementing a bonus system, reach out to ACT today! Our coaches have incredible training and experience, and they will help you look at all the options and create a system that will demonstrate your appreciation to your team. It’s not just what they receive on their paycheck—it’s everything together. Show them that they matter, and they’ll feel a sense of satisfaction. They’ll work even harder, and by working together you’ll achieve a Better Practice, and a Better Life!

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.