What makes a good dental practice employee?

There are good employees and then there are great employees. There are team members that go through the day barely noticed, and there are others who will always be the frontrunners for important projects and tasks – the ones who will always be asked for suggestions on important decisions.

Do you want to be the employee who people look up to and ask for advice? Do you want to be valued for your expertise? Do you want to be considered indispensable?

If you are not yet there but wish to be, here are some quick pointers on what to do and what to avoid.

Qualities of a good employee

Here are a few qualities that every good employee possesses and every employer or manager looks for when hiring.

  • Punctual – Don’t be late for work. Punctuality is a trait that is always appreciated because it shows you are committed and you take your job seriously.
  • Presentable – Dress appropriately for work and follow the dress code. Wear clean, well-ironed and appropriate clothes to work every day.
  • Trustworthy – Your employer/manager should be able to trust you with important work and information without any fear of it being leaked or forgotten.
  • Positive – Smile, greet people and generally be pleasant with your supervisors as well as co-workers. Do not complain about work or personal issues as this can be distracting and demotivating to others.
  • Accountable – After assigning you a task, your employer/manager should be confident in your ability to get the work done well and on time, and not have to check on you every minute.
  • Honest – You should be honest about work and about yourself. Integrity is a trait that is always looked up to and valued by coworkers and employers alike.
  • Team player – Being able to work in a team and coordinate with other members is essential. It reflects your leadership skills if you help your teammates perform better.
  • Good listener – You need to listen carefully and attentively when being assigned tasks or being explained a new concept. Only then will you be able to complete your tasks well.
  • Open to positive criticism – You should always be willing to accept mistakes and correct them as required. It helps you learn and grow professionally.
  • Cheerful and humorous – Being cheerful and making people laugh when taking a break helps your coworkers de-stress and work better, thereby increasing overall productivity
  • Motivated to improve – Be open to learning new skills and improving on familiar ones.

How to be valued at your workplace

Sometimes, even if you possess great qualities, they may go unnoticed. It happens especially in large organizations where noticing individual work becomes rather difficult and impractical for managers. They end up looking at the team’s performance as a whole. In such cases, how can you stand out from the crowd and get noticed for your hard work? Here is what you need to do.

  • Keep updating your skills – It will not only make you an expert in your field, but also help you increase your knowledge about the latest developments in your field of work
  • Come up with creative solutions – Whenever you have meetings for projects that may be stuck due to a problem, try to come up with creative solutions to help solve the issue
  • Always contribute fresh ideas – Come up with innovative ideas to help get work done faster or improve the quality of an important ongoing project
  • Help coworkers/manager with problem solving – If you know about a problem with a project and if you have a viable solution to it, approach your manger with your suggestions
  • Always acknowledge good work and appreciation – If a coworker has done a good job at a difficult task, applaud his/her work. If you get appreciation, make sure to acknowledge it and thank the person

These may sound like small, insignificant things, but can go a long way in getting you noticed for your work as well as your contributions. You will be recognized and appreciated for your involvement and interest in your job. Employers will consider you a valued employee of the organization, no matter how big or small your team and the organization you work with.

Things to avoid as an employee

Unfortunately, it is not enough to embody the qualities or contribute actively at work. Even if you are doing all of it, you may still not be seen as a good employee if you are doing any of the following:

  • Gossiping – The ultimate weapon of self-destruction
  • Procrastinating – Not completing your assigned tasks on time can hamper your credibility at work
  • Disturbing and distracting coworkers – Taking personal calls and talking for extended periods of time, listening to loud music, or constantly disturbing others in the middle of their work are destructive to office morale and productivity
  • Not being helpful – If you have solutions to a problem that a coworker is facing, or see an opportunity to contribute, yet do not offer to help, you will not be seen as a team player or as someone with whom others would want to work
  • Making excuses – Making excuses or giving reasons as to why any new idea might not work is demotivating and will discourage teammates from making suggestions in the future

These are the basics about how to become a trusted and valued employee. It also tells you how you can avoid getting into the “bad” book of your coworkers and employers. Follow this guide and be on your way to being respected and appreciated at work.


You are invited to attend a free training webinar: Dental Practice Excellence, where we examine the impact of unhappy employees and two other critical issues that must be considered for dental practice success.

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