Let your team members know how important they and their work are to you and your patients by celebrating Orthodontic Staff Appreciation Day 2024 on June 5.*

The AAO has created new visual assets for member use in highlighting how important your team is, including festive new posters, flyers, social media tools and a fillable Certificate of Appreciation.

On June 5, plan to tag the AAO in your Orthodontic Staff Appreciation Day posts on social media and use #OrthoStaffAppreciation. Connect with the AAO on Facebook, InstagramTwitter, or LinkedIn.

“Best of Staff Appreciation” Ideas
If you’re looking for creative ways to make the day fun for your team, below are some “Best of Staff Appreciation” ideas gleaned from past member reports on how they celebrated with their teams.

What would convey to your team members how special they are? It’s hard to go wrong with favorites like coffee drinks upon arrival at work, baked treats, delicious candy, or chair massages from a good massage therapist.

Depending on the tastes and interests of your team members and your preference for celebrating in the office or off-site, other options – either alone or in combination – may also help make the day memorable for everyone. Some of our favorite ideas from past member staff appreciation celebrations include:

● Special delivery. Send flowers or gift cards to each employee’s home just before June 7.

● Sharing a meal together. Delight your team with a catered lunch or dining out experience at a favorite restaurant. Don’t have time for a full meal? Your team could still enjoy items delivered to the office, like smoothies in the morning, or an ice cream truck visit in the afternoon. Or, simply stock the breakroom with snacks and special treats.

● An elegant gift. Team members arrive for the day to find packages at their workstations containing jewelry, accessories or more unique items. One practice, located in an area with a rainy climate, included a high-end umbrella for each team member in their celebration.

● Team outings.  From painting parties at locations like Painting with a Twist, to escape room events to half-day spa treatments, some orthodontic teams like to celebrate away from the office.

● Surprise! The office is closed for “training” or “inventory.” Unsuspecting team members are led into a section of the office in which the doctor and/or practice manager have been setting up a surprise party with gifts, food, etc.

Other types of surprises can also be fun and convey appreciation. For example, we heard that one doctor hired a mobile car wash to come to the office and wash all of his team members cars! 

● Not a surprise (appreciation from patients). Simple words of thanks from patients can be among the most meaningful forms of appreciation for many team members, but this approach is easiest if patients are given time to participate. Advance announcements on social media with an invitation for patients and parents to post thank-you messages may work well.

An in-office display with handwritten notes may also be very effective. Simply set up a display in your waiting area and invite patients and parents to write notes and return the cards to the display.

* Orthodontic Staff Appreciation Day is celebrated every year on the first Wednesday of June.

** Learn more from the Harvard Business Review article, “
Why Employees Need both Recognition and Appreciation.”