Your team is always going to be the backbone of your dental practice. No matter how large your dental practice gets, or how good of a dentist you are, you will need a strong baseline team to take your dental practice to the next level.
How do you build your team up to that level?
We go over the top 4 tips you’re going to need to make your dental practice better for your team.
Recognize Your Team's Accomplishments
One of the biggest reasons why someone leaves a position is because they do not feel appreciated for the role that they are taking on. Over the years of speaking with many dental practice owners, I have noticed that there tends to be a difference in how this is handled generationally.
A lot of younger dental practices lean very heavily into appreciating and recognizing the accomplishments of their employees. These accomplishments and rewards do not need to be financially more compensation, it doesn’t have to result in a promotion, it is at the end of the days when you’ve noticed that they did very well, you can thank them for all the hard work today and tell them that they did an awesome job.
Everybody likes hearing that their hard work has been recognized and noticed. Giving this positive recognition does a couple of things for your dental practice. It helps to start each day and end each day on a positive note. Nobody wants to come into work expecting a list of all the things they need to improve on. Focusing on the positive aspects of each individual‘s performance allows you to frame the areas of improvement in a much more positive light.
The other side of that coin tends to be when employers have the mentality that they don’t need to appreciate their employees because they are appreciating them by paying them money. Well in some aspects this is true. The main goal is to have them perform certain duties and responsibilities, and in exchange, they get financial compensation. However, if your employees are only looking at their position at your dental practice as a way to get financial compensation and nothing else then your company culture's positivity of the office will decline.
Another statement that I have frequently heard is that why do you have to thank somebody for doing the job that they are getting paid to do. The most important thing to remember is that these are human beings that are helping your dental practice be successful. They are not machines that you turn off at the end of a workday, and you turn back on when you come in the next morning. These are human beings that go home to their families, friends, and the other aspects of their life when they leave your workplace.
There is more to staying at a workplace than just financial compensation.
If people are spending eight hours or more a day at your dental practice then they will want some form of fulfillment. They will want a positive workplace. They will want to enjoy coming to work and the people around them.
All of this stems from you as a dental practice owner appreciating them and recognizing their achievements.
Ask Your Team What They Feel Needs To Be Improved
As we spoke about before, your team wants to feel like they are heard, just like patients do. You also have to understand that they are going to be dealing with other things on the day-to-day that you will not.
Establishing open lines of communication throughout your team will allow you to receive honest feedback about places that can be improved in the current workflow. This will also allow your team to feel like they are contributing to the business itself rather than just another cog in the machine.
Your team can provide tremendous value outside of their standard work responsibilities and duties. The only way that they will effectively provide this additional value to you as a dental practice owner is if you are setting the correct environment. We will go over more of this in the next section.
Like we said previously, A large factor in whether somebody stays at their current position is whether or not they feel appreciated and valued at the company. Allowing them to have a say in shaping procedures and processes to make them more effective for the workflow that they might even know better than you because they deal with it every single day will allow them to feel valued.
It is important to remember that it is not a sign of weakness to lean on your team to keep you informed and in the loop of daily processes.
Create A Positive Workspace, And Then Stay Positive
This is a combination of the things we spoke about previously. It is vital to create a positive work environment.
Your team is going to be spending eight hours at your dental practice. Do you want to make sure that they enjoy their work? Your team is full of specialists such as front office managers, dental assistants, dental hygienists, front office team members, and even dentists. The reality is that due to their specialization, they could go to a different dental office instead. This is magnified even more due to the fact that in some parts of the United States there are shortages of dental candidates.
Everybody wants to love the place that they work, and it is up to you as a dental practice owner to set the standard for how your office operates.
Everything starts with you. You decide and set the company culture, and you decide who gets hired. You should be focusing on individuals that perpetuate the company culture that you want your dental practice to represent.
It is already difficult to create a company culture from the beginning, and it will be even more difficult if you have to do it again after it wasn’t maintained.
Make Your Expectations Known Upfront, And Clarify Any Expectations As Soon As You Are Able To
There are very few feelings that are as negative as feeling like you are being blindsided in the workplace.
There are going to be the standard expectations that pertain to their work responsibilities and job duties that you will establish during the initial on boarding process. There may also be other expectations about workplace behavior, and attitude as it pertains to potential issues.
There are also other expectations that are important that people feel completely comfortable with. These expectations being the payment and benefits of working at your dental practice. If it is standard at your dental practice that after six months they are evaluated and then provided the potential for a raise then this is something that they should be aware of. They should also be aware that it is not a guarantee to receive it. If they were not to receive that additional raise then it is important that you provide sound reasoning and improvement guidance in order for them to achieve the exceptional standards that would have to be met in order to acquire that raise.
It is always important to be honest and transparent with your team about any matters that may affect them or their work environment. This will help to establish trust between you and your team. Overall, having your team trust you will lead to a more positive experience at your dental practice as a whole.