H Lois Banta

Lois Banta

Chief Consulting Officer

Morning huddles & team meetings for practice efficiency

Do you feel like your morning huddles and team meetings are effective? The most synergized and successful dental teams utilize their morning huddles and team meetings to motivate, educate, strategize, and proactively address potential roadblocks. Here are tips to help you design efficient morning huddles and team meetings for your practice. 

What time is your morning huddle?

Morning huddles need to be scheduled early enough that they can end at least five minutes before the first scheduled appointments of the day. Patients that schedule first thing in the morning typically do so to avoid any delay, so it is important to respect that. 

Here are 3 best practices for your morning huddles:

1. Start on time

The doctor should be the first person at the morning huddle to greet the other team members. The huddle should start on time to ensure the meeting ends on time. Morning huddles that run over cause an inconvenience to patients that are scheduled first thing in the morning. 

2. No more than 10 minutes long

If your morning huddle consists of reading and reviewing the schedule while eating breakfast or drinking coffee, it is not the most efficient use of your team’s time. Avoid distracting conversation and behaviors. Keep reading for a fantastic morning huddle agenda that addresses all of the most important points of each day.

3. Entire team attends

It is vitally important that your entire team attends the morning huddles. However, unexpected circumstances occur and then you just get creative! If you have a team member that is running late, task another team member to catch them up or give each team member one or more parts of the agenda to relay to them. 

Another way to keep your entire team engaged is to let the TEAM run the huddle. The team member in charge of the huddle keeps the huddle on time and running smoothly.  Rotate who on the team leads the morning huddle weekly. While the doctor should avoid running the huddle, they can give a leadership “statement” each day. This can be a positive statement to the team, an inspirational quote, reading a patient review, etc. 

Every challenge can have a solution, sometimes you just have to get a little creative

Follow an agenda, like the one below, to make the absolute most of your morning huddle. Depending on the size of your practice, this may need to be modified to fit in the recommended 10 minute time frame. Pick and choose the most important points for your practice so your morning huddles work for you.

  • Previous day’s celebrations
  • Previous day’s challenges
  • Any new patients on the schedule today?
  • Any emergencies on the schedule today?
  • Do we need to take any intraoral photos on any patients today?
  • Which treatment patients are overdue for their routine hygiene appointment?
  • Which hygiene patients are needing treatment completed?
  • Changes/openings/opportunities in the schedule
  • Patients with financial concerns

This agenda is specifically tailored to address the most important points for the practice and patients. It is much harder to get through the day and address hiccups unless the team knows what those hiccups are ahead of time, and proactively discusses them. No challenge is unsolvable. Work as a team and find creative solutions and your patients will love you for it!

Design team meetings with a purpose

It is important to have regular team meetings to discuss broader topics, address larger roadblocks, develop strategies, and much more. If you have a very large, or multi-location practice, you may want to have department meetings once a week, individual office team meetings once a month, and the entire team for all locations once a year.

How do you give your team meetings a purpose? You can devote a theme to each team meeting for the month. This gives the perfect mix of variety and consistency to the meetings, allowing team members to prepare and get excited! Cross-training, role-playing, developing a referral system — these are just a few of the themes you could incorporate into your team meetings. Another great monthly theme is continuing education (CE). Some team members may not feel motivated because they don’t need CE credits each year. Encourage and support every team to grow in their respective roles in the practice because as your team improves, so does the patient’s experience.

Morning huddles and team meetings are two of my 7 breakthrough steps to creating your best year ever. Schedule a team meeting, learn all of the steps, and start implementing them today! After 2020, everyone should have an amazing 2021 and beyond. 

Check out Dental Zing for a complete list of virtual continuing education for every member of the practice. 


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