The team from Nassau Veterinary Clinic rides in the limo during a scavenger hunt.
You already thank and compliment your staff, but practice life seems to have slowed to a crawl now that the holidays are over. Plan morale-boosting events sporadically—not just during the holidays. Here are some real-life ideas that'll help keep your team members' spirits up throughout the year.
1. Take your staff on a scavenger hunt.
"Limos picked us up at the practice and drove us around town to accomplish tasks and find certain items," says Christina Ruffer, assistant for client service at Nassau Veterinary Clinic in Nassau, N.Y. "Taking a picture with a stranger or finding a certain type of candy bar were some of the things we had to check off the list. We worked in randomly assigned groups and learned to interact with people outside of our own comfort zone."
2. Reward good deeds with gifts.
"I keep small gifts on hand for my technicians, receptionists, and kennel help and when I catch them 'getting it right the first time,' they get a gift and a thank-you note placed on their workstation," says Karen Henderson, hospital manager at Hanover Regional Animal Hospital in Wilmington, N.C. Gifts include bracelets, paw print socks, and coupons for coffee or McDonald's.
3. Let employees reward themselves.
"All employees met at the mall and were given sealed envelopes from the doctor," says Kathleen McMurray, office manager at Above and Beyond Pet Care Hospital in Lubbock, Texas. "Each envelope contained cash, and employees had one hour to spend the cash on items for themselves. They weren't allowed to buy for spouses, children, or pets. After one hour, employees met at the food court and showed the group what items they had purchased."