Recently at an appointment my dentist, whom I know well, was thanking me for referring one of our patients to his practice, which is something I try to do as often as I can.  He and his hygienist huddlethen asked me how another employee in our office was doing, as he also is a patient there.

Then the hygienist said “your employees seem to really like working in your office and have been there for a long time.”  I told her that most of our employees do work for us for several years and even when they do move on (because they have been working for a degree while with us or life has taken them down a different path) they remain good friends and refer patients to our practice when they can.

I went on to tell them of an employee that we hired back in 2000, who was a college student at the time and worked for us until 2005, when she graduated from college. Recently she came to dinner at our home along with her husband (we attended their wedding last year) and they were expecting their first baby, (she now has a career in law enforcement, which is the degree she was working on while employed with us).

My dentist and hygienist were very surprised that we not only had employees that liked working for us and had long-term employment, but that even when they moved on they remained good friends and referral sources.

They asked me that age-old question “how do you keep employees for so long and even if they leave still remain friends?”  It is all about creating a great work environment where those that work there can thrive and enjoy themselves.  We learn to play together each day and play nicely, yes we are professional, but we have fun.  We are all human with many faults, but also many more attributes that contribute to the practices success and we compliment each other.

We are a team, as the quarterback has their strength which is different from the guard or tight-end, we each bring something good to our office each day to share with each other and the patients we serve.  Do we have to work at this?  Yes we do, but don’t all great teams invest in a lot of hard practice? It also takes a lot of caring and communication, which is a blog post for another day.

Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work a company work, a society work, a civilization work. ~Vince Lombardi (1913-1970), football coach for the NFL