An efficient dental care team is the backbone of a successful clinic, improving its day-to-day operations as well as patient satisfaction. If your team works together smoothly, the benefits affect every aspect of your practice in a positive manner, thus reducing time and enhancing performance.
If your team has any shortcomings with motivation, productivity or efficiency, follow these 5 simple steps.
1. Focus on Strong Hires – To build an incredible dental team, put in the time and effort to find the best talent possible. Research dental offices hiring and recruitment strategies, and make a list of essential skills and characteristics you want in your staff. Where possible, raise motivation by promoting existing team members.
Advertise even when you aren’t hiring, and build a network of passive candidates who may be a good fit someday. Remember, the best people won’t be willing to work for peanuts, so make sure your clinic’s pay scale is at par with (or better than) the competition.
2. Train Your Staff – For your dental care team to work effectively, they need to be trained on the systems you use (e.g. scheduling, hygiene, equipment maintenance, financial management, etc.). Document every step to build awareness and minimize “holes”, and train existing staff as well as new hires.
Customize these processes according to your practice, and use the 3-month probation period to its fullest by guiding new team members through the systems you use. Even experienced people will not get the hang of “how we do things here” unless you’re clear about your expectations!
3. Take Performance Reviews – Regular performance reviews can do a lot when it comes to motivating your dental team. Set up an agenda for review meetings, where you discuss each person’s progress and contributions to your practice, as well as their strengths and areas where they can make improvements.
Encourage them to bring up any issues, expectations, feedback and opinions they want to share. This raises morale, team spirit and ownership, as each person on the team feels more included. You could do this twice a year with seasoned team members, and every month for new hires.
4. Encourage Ownership – Simply giving your team members certain responsibilities and expecting them to do their best may not be enough. If you really want to boost productivity, offer a bonus system that rewards performance. Set up a system of weekly or monthly goals, both for individuals and the team as a whole.
Hold a quarterly or bi-annual team meeting (outside the office, a fun diversion from the daily grind) where you share results and rewards. Ideally, bonuses should be awarded based on a collection model, i.e. revenue growth. This helps create a sense of challenge and excitement while also boosting your clinic’s earnings.
5. Help Them Grow – To motivate your team and reduce turnover, offer continuing education or skill enhancement programs that helps them stay up-to-date with advancements in the industry. In fact, this can help reduce your stress too – the more your team members learn, the better they will be at their jobs.
Dental skills tend to become outdated every 3-5 years, so helping your staff also helps you. Work with core team members to offer in-house coaching or brainstorming sessions as well, where you or other doctors guide staff through new systems, innovations and leadership opportunities.
When you’re hiring a dental assistant or other staff, look for team players who want to grow within your practice. It’s the best way to set up a strong base for success!
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