Strengthen your team and grow your practice with these tips
Team members play a large role in a dental practice’s success. Without a strong team of professionals who share your vision and support you, your practice will struggle. But if you have a solid team in place with individuals who are ready to do their part to move the practice forward, you’ll be in a much better position to reach your goals.
So how can you build a strong team that will help you grow your practice? Here are my tips:
Hire the right people from the beginning. I know most dentists hate the hiring process, which is why it can be so tempting to extend an offer to the first person who sends in an impressive resume. Sure, you get the position filled quickly, but the problem is you’ll likely end up with a bad hire that does your practice more harm than good.
To help ensure you bring in the best and brightest, I suggested you implement a hiring system in your practice. This includes creating detailed job descriptions, crafting targeted job ads, looking for common resume red flags, scheduling both phone and in-person interviews, asking open ended questions during these interviews, and conducing personality tests and background checks.
This might seem like a lot to go through, but trust me, it’s worth it. By taking these steps, you’ll find the right people for the roles you need to fill, strengthening your team and setting your practice up for success.
Provide proper training. Your work isn’t over once you make a good hire. You still have to provide proper training for these team members to be successful—no matter how experienced or talented they are. Make sure all new team members are trained and confident in their role. They’ll be much more effective and happier to come to work each day.
It’s also important to continue training as you add more products and technologies to your practice. Don’t expect team members to learn as they go. This only adds more stress to everyone in the practice. Again, the more comfortable your team members are, the more effective they’ll be—and that translates into increased productivity and more revenue for the practice.
Offer continual feedback. Team members crave direction from you, the practice CEO, and sitting down to go over performance reviews once a year just isn’t enough. I suggest you make a commitment to providing both positive and constructive feedback as often as possible. When you make giving feedback a priority, team members know what they’re doing right and where they can improve—and that does wonders for their performance.
For the best results, I suggest you give feedback in real-time. If you overhear your Scheduling Coordinator get an overdue patient on the schedule by suggesting an evening appointment that allows her to come in after her busy workday, for example, let that team member know right away you appreciate the effort. This will help ensure the behavior is repeated, and that will lead to increased production and revenues.
Don’t ignore conflict. As much as you would like to keep it out of your practice, staff conflict is unavoidable. Developing detailed job descriptions that make it clear who’s responsible for what can help reduce conflict, but there’s no way to eliminate it from your office entirely.
Instead of ignoring problems when they arise and telling yourself the team members involved will resolve issues on their own (they won’t) work with them to find a solution. Use the conflict as an opportunity to make improvements in the practice. Trust me, your team and your practice will be stronger for it.
Show team members you value their opinion. The more team members feel invested in the practice, the more motivated they’ll be to meet their goals and to help you move the practice forward. To do that, let team members know you value their input and their contributions to the practice.
How, you ask? Involve team members when creating practice goals and when deciding which products to invest in. Ask them what changes they would make to the practice if they were in charge and then take their answers seriously. Listen to their ideas on how to make improvements to the systems they’re accountable for. Doing so will not only boost team morale, which fosters loyalty, it will give you ideas for practice-boosting-enhancements you may have never thought of on your own.
Building a successful dental practice isn’t something you can do all by yourself. You really need a strong team behind you. Following these tips will help you build that team so you can grow your practice and your bottom line.
Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management, www.mckenziemgmt.com, a full-service, nation-wide dental practice management company. Contact her directly at 877-777-6151 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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