APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Lunch Seminars Feed Minds and Nourish Personal Growth

Arkansas — After using business coaches and consultants to develop and implement a successful systems improvement program in his dental office, Donald A. Deems, III, DDS, PA realized that improved team functioning depends on better employee development. Deems promptly began working with his staff to develop a lunchtime learning program, a series of bi-weekly meetings that cover a broad range of personal and professional development topics.

The lunchtime learning programs, which occur in addition to the practice’s formal monthly organizational meetings, take a number of shapes – seminars, short workshops and group discussions. Topics are varied, ranging from technology training to stress management to communication skills. Team members often suggest new topics and when interest warrants, discussions can be extended to multiple sessions.

As the lunches have progressed, staff members have seen both personal and professional relationships improve. Staff stress levels have decreased, while creativity and self-esteem levels have risen. Patients have noticed these positive changes and report greater satisfaction with the services they receive.

A number of related staff improvements have helped Dr. Deems’ bottom line, as well. Along with an increase in productivity and communication has come a decrease in costs. Employee turnover has dropped significantly, as have hiring costs and overtime hours. Patients and staff alike appreciate the comfortable environment and have commented on the increased sense of calm and relaxation in the office.

"Emory University is honored to have received this award. It personifies the 'contributory excellence' of Emory. We strive to be an employer committed to the good health and well-being of each member of the campus community."

Susie Lackey
Employee Council President
Emory University