The key to successfully improving your dental practice, reaching your goals and having loyal and happy patients is to have a loyal and happy team. For some, this can be quite challenging.
I want to help. I’m going to share with you some tips and ideas on how to have a Happier and more Productive Team.
When people feel valued, appreciated, heard, supported, acknowledged and included, they are motivated to bring their best selves forward. ~ Betsy Myers
Isn’t that the truth? I know it’s that way for me. I’m sure your team would respond the same way. Give it a try with these tips and ideas…
Set the Example – Lead by example. Treat your employees how you would like them to treat your best patient! If you want to see positive change in your practice, you must consistently lead by example. It starts at the top. You set the tone for the day, make certain that it’s a happy & productive one. This includes any employee in a management position – if you have employees complaining about your office manager, take it seriously. A toxic office manager will destroy your practice over time, at the very least, cause a staff turnover nightmare. In fact, any employee that is toxic to your vision, to your team, and/or your patients…needs to go. It’s not easy to make the decision to terminate someone’s employment, yet absolutely necessary if you want to improve your practice. Once you make the decision to no longer tolerate or allow the poor behavior and attitudes in your practice, you’ll breathe a huge sigh of relief.
Hire only the Best – Take the time necessary to screen your job candidates. Don’t be so quick to hire that you settle for less than the best. Allow your team to spend time with the candidates prior to hiring. See how they interact with each other and with your patients.
“Remember there is no way that the quality of customer service can exceed the quality of the people who provide it.” – Liz Tahir
Compensation – You get what you pay for. Pay your employees well. Simple as that.
Communication – Job descriptions and expectations must be clearly defined for each employee. Don’t assume they know. This will help keep things running smoothly, efficiently, and productive. (Have every team member write down a detailed list of all of their job responsibilities. This is VERY helpful in determining more effective ways of doing things as well as finding out what is NOT being done.)
Team Meetings/Morning Huddles are essential for a happy and smooth work day. Visit HERE for some tips on how you can have a successful morning huddle.
Address quickly any needed discipline or correction; don’t wait for a staff meeting to address these problems. Instead, meet one on one with the offender right away and move forward.
Avoid office negativity and gossip, it’s toxic and will infect your team – Rather, focus on and share positive experiences.
Respect – Respect your team by sticking to the scheduled work hours. Be sure that they are not habitually working through their lunch or having to work late. They need breaks to refresh and refuel. Give them that. They have a life outside of work and making them work past their scheduled end time is a real drag. I understand that sometimes unexpected events may occur so they might be asked to work late or into a lunch hour but this should be the rare occasion, not a daily or even occurrence. If you find that this is happening frequently, it’s time to reevaluate your systems for scheduling appointments and your office hours.
Commendation – This one is easy. Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Applaud & reward the behavior and actions that you want to see more of. Simply thanking your team at the end of the day goes a long way in making them feel appreciated. Little surprise treats and gifts every now and then are also much appreciated.
Involve and Empower – Knowing why you show up every morning will help to create a culture of happiness and excellence. Involve the entire team in your vision, mission, and goals for the practice. Involving your team will help to keep everyone on the same page; working together for the greater good of the practice. Encourage and empower your team to not only come up with new ideas and solutions to problems but to implement these ideas and solutions.
Training – Don’t hold back in this area! Invest in your team. Thoroughly train any new employees on your practice goals, systems, software, telephone skills, dental procedures, protocols, etc. However, training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training. This leads me to the next point…
Continuing Education – Continuing education, not just for the providers but for the entire team is a wonderful way to ensure practice growth. Not to mention, it’s a great team-building experience, one that will give you a happier and motivated team. Think about this, your administrative team is the first and last impression made on each and every one of your patients. This includes potential patients that call your office. Certainly, you want to have the very best training and education for not only your clinical team but your administrative team too. You can do this with in-office training, webinars, lunch and learns, and seminars/classes outside of the office.
For example, have you heard about The Best Seminar Ever? Better known as TBSE? For real, I attended TBSE last year and it absolutely was the best seminar I have ever been to. If you’re ready to boost your team and take your practice to the next level, please check it out here: TBSE -The Best Seminar Ever
If you’re unsure about the true value of continuing education for your entire team, consider the following scenario… You the doctor, come back from a dental seminar all fired up to implement some new ideas, protocol or the use of a new/improved dental procedure or cool piece of dental equipment and your team is less than enthused, maybe a little angry that they cannot possibly add one more thing to their already too busy day. Besides, the way they do things is how they always have and it’s working out just fine…
Sound familiar? Is there a chance you might have some new dental equipment or training manuals just sitting on the shelf, begging to be used? I hope not. However, if this or something similar has happened to you, it’s most likely because your team didn’t understand or appreciate the why and the how. Knowing why and how this new idea, technique, equipment or procedure works, benefits the patient and the office as a whole is critical to enthused implementation.
Have Fun! – Have more fun in your office with Team Building Activities, Events, & Rewards. More on this one coming soon!
It is my wish that these ideas and tips will help you and your team experience greater happiness at work. If you have any other ideas or things that have worked well in your office, I would love to hear about them. If you have any questions or concerns about what you’ve read today, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Yours for Greater Success,
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