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 tips on how to have a Happy Team and in turn, Improve Your Office.
Before I get started, did you catch Tips to Improve your Dental Office Parts 1, 2 and 3? If not, here they are; First Impressions, Make a Change and The Little Things. (BTW: Sign up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas and tips each month right to your email inbox…this way, you won’t miss a single FREE idea!)
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…
Commendation – This one is easy. Commend your employees when you catch them doing something “right”. Commendation boosts morale. Commend & 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. Thank them for going the extra mile to help a patient out, or for the day running smoothly, or for always getting to work on time.
Communication – Job descriptions and expectations must be clearly defined. 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.
Avoid office negativity, it’s toxic and will infect your team – Rather, focus on and share positive experiences.
Your team must know the why, what and how. They may know the what and the how but not the why, often times, this is why employees are there just to collect a paycheck. Talk about what you believe and attract those who believe what you believe. People buy the why not the what.
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. Follow through on goals and changes. Training isn’t just for your new employees, everyone in the office needs regular training. Which leads me to the next point…
Continuing Education – Continuing education, not just for the doctor or hygienist but 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 learn, and seminars/classes outside the office.( For example, Ever hear of TBSE? Check this seminar out if you really want to boost your team: TBSE -The Best Seminar Ever.)
If you’re still 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. Only to find that 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 because your team didn’t understand 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. Critical to its success and yours.
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.
Have Fun! – Have more fun in your office with Team Building Activities and Events
In Office Fun: Potluck lunch, Ice Cream Truck, Carry out lunch (team choice), Craft, Games, Puzzles, Book club and Brainstorm sessions with prizes for ideas. (Purchase a Team Building Activity book such as: Quick Team-Building Activities for Busy Managers: 50 Exercises That Get Results in Just 15 Minutes)
These articles have some really good ideas for team building activities: Six Quick Teamwork Games to Engage Employees at Work and this one: When I work – Team Building Games
Outside the office Fun: Bowling, Paint a Canvas, Shopping, Dinner, Cooking Class, Wally Ball, Baseball Game, Spa, Escape Room, Field Day (Team up with other offices), Concert, Skating, Batting Cages, Mini Golf, Pottery Class, Theater, Community Events, Volunteering at a local charity, Nature hike/walk, Etc.
Tips to get you started:
- Positive Gossip Only! Entire team agrees to stop gossip. Refuse to listen. Rather, encourage the person to go directly to the other person they have an issue or complaint about. Unless of course, they can let it go and move on.
- Why are you here? What are you doing? Do you know? What about your team? Knowing why you show up every morning will help to create a culture of happiness and excellence.
- Book Club – Start a book club with your team. Purchase a great team building book and share paragraphs or chapters at your team meetings. There are so many wonderful team building books out there. Below you will find a list of some of the ones that I have read. (Also, short team building video clips might be helpful to share at a morning huddle or team meeting. One of my absolute favorites is the FISH! Philosophy)
- Little Surprises – Write a thank you or I appreciate you note and stick it on an employee’s computer screen. In the morning, bring in donuts and coffee. In the afternoon when everyone is feeling sluggish, bring in a refreshing drink or treat. If possible, have everyone step outside for a few minutes of fresh air.
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 team building 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 the things you’ve read today, please ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Yours for Greater Success,
P.P.S. Team Building Book Suggestions: Move Your Bus; Fun Is Good; The Energy Bus (ALL books by Jon Gordon); Our Iceberg is Melting; Who Moved my Cheese?; FISH!; Full Steam Ahead; Million Dollar Dentistry; Be Our Guest; …more added soon.