How do you feel about monthly team meetings? Do you avoid them? Do you feel like they’re a waste of time? If you do, you’re not alone. In fact, I may have heard a few doctors say they’d rather… go to the dentist than conduct a team meeting. 😉 Sorry, that was bad. It is true though that many people have had enough bad meetings that they dread team meetings to the point of not having them at all.
Why are regular team meetings so important? Because when conducted effectively they help to keep the team all on the same page and working toward the same goals and mission which leads to success. Isn’t that what we all want?
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
Which reminds me – in addition to monthly team meetings, daily huddles are critical to having more productive, happier, and less stressful work-days. If you’re not holding daily huddles or if you need some ideas to help them be more effective please visit here: Dental Office Morning Huddle Agenda Tips and Ideas
Some offices choose to conduct more frequent team meetings and/or weekly department meetings and that is totally fine but knowing that so many offices are not regularly conducting monthly meetings or not even yearly meetings – we’re taking baby steps here by recommending they get started with monthly team meetings.
Here are some tips and ideas to help you conduct effective monthly meetings.
Schedule – Schedule your monthly team meetings well in advance. If we don’t reserve some time each month for the meetings life tends to get in the way and crowd out any opportunities to meet as a team.
How much time should you reserve? Ideally, one and a half to a two-hour block of time but if you can’t spare that much time to start, reserve one hour.
Assigned Leader – Rotate who leads the monthly meetings so it isn’t always the same person. There is no reason for the meetings to only be conducted by the doctor or the office manager. Give everyone on the team the opportunity to take the lead on this.
Preparation – Post the date of the next team meeting as well as an agenda sheet. Encourage the team to add to the agenda. All team members should arrive at the meeting on time and prepared to contribute.
At the start of the meeting record:
- Today’s Date:
- Team Member’s Present:
- The meeting note-taker is:
- Meeting time-keeper is:
- Who will pass notes to team members not present:
- Next months meeting will be conducted by:
TO BE CONSIDERED
Open with Positive Comments & Commendation (2-5 minutes)
- Each employee must contribute a positive comment/experience about someone or something in the office.
Role Play / Training (5 minutes) – Topic Suggestions: Telephones, Treatment Plans, Financial Presentations, Hand-Off, New Product/Service, Etc.
Agenda Items (15 minutes) Topic, Name of Person, the Estimated time needed to discuss
Note: If you see that there is an agenda item written down to be discussed at your next team meeting and it is something that can be handled prior to the meeting or it is something that needs to be addressed with an individual employee please don’t save it for the team meeting – take care of it now.
Growth – Ideas for Improvement (5 minutes)
Potential Stumbling Blocks – Concerns (remember to bring a solution with your concern) (5 minutes)
Numbers – Goals Vs How We’re Doing (5 minutes)
- Production Per Visit
- Pre Appointment Percentage
- New Patients
- Daily Open Chair Time
What’s Going On – Office News/ Office Happenings (2 minutes)
Marketing & Relationship Building – Marketing Status & Upcoming Plans (5 minutes)
Action Items – What? Who? When? What is the Action Item? Who is responsible for making sure it happens? When will it be completed or is it ongoing?
Have you ever decided to implement a new idea and nothing ever happens with it? Most often this is because the expectations weren’t clearly defined and no one was assigned to see it through to completion. We must work together to gently hold each other accountable for accomplishing the action items.
Meeting Conclusion – Closing Commendation & Positive/Happy Video or Quote – each month a different team member is assigned to contribute the next meeting’s positive/happy quote or video.
A few more tips and ideas…
Atmosphere – The atmosphere for these meetings should be warm and welcoming. This is a safe space where team members aren’t afraid to share their thoughts and ideas.
Stay in Control and on Topic – If you find that the team is going off-topic or a subject is taking longer to discuss than planned, please either bring everyone back on track and/or move that subject/topic to be discussed at a later date. It is all too easy to lose control if we are over-discussing a topic because we don’t have 100% agreement from all team members… that’s not likely to happen so make a decision and move on.
Employee Conduct – Everyone not only arrives at the meeting on time, but they are also prepared to contribute. Cell phones should be put on silent and away. We respect the person talking by not talking over them, not interrupting them or whispering to another employee. Oh, and this isn’t the time to catch a quick nap.
The start of the new year is the perfect time to create a new habit for the team – regular monthly team meetings! If you have questions or concerns about monthly team meetings – please reach out to me. I’m happy to help.
What are your practice goals for 2020? I would love the opportunity to work along with you and your team to help you set and exceed your practice goals. If you would like to schedule a complimentary telephone consultation to learn how our coaching program works, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Yours for Greater Success,