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Focus on Your Practice Culture to Build Your Dental Dream Team

Posted February 17, 2020

Christine Brooke

Get Ready to Make your Dream Team a Reality

Surely, we would all agree, that we could not have a successful practice without patients. And, without a winning team, we could not effectively care for the needs of our patients. Therefore, let’s focus on building a winning team. I’m not referring to any team. Remember, we want to plan for making a remarkable difference in the year and decade ahead. I’m referring to a rockstar team — a winning team of extraordinary individuals who love what they do, take ownership of their roles, reinforce your values and what your practice means to you.

So, let’s start with our practice.

Just as it is with patients, retention among our team members is critical when on pace to developing a thriving practice. In fact, the impact of turnover is nothing short of disruptive and costly. The rush to hire can lead to an erosion of morale and performance that has a long-lasting impact on a dental practice. This often leaves a practice owner frustrated by the resulting decline in productivity and desperation to fill the gap. Coming from a space of frustration and desperation causes a vicious cycle. This cycle is analogous to taking one step forward and two steps back.

So, what does it take to acquire a rockstar team?

Before we explore the acquisition of a talented team and avoid the pitfalls of hiring mistakes, we must first be crystal clear about our goals. Often what we want stems from what’s most important to us — our core values. The first step in laying the groundwork for a winning team starts with you — the leader and CEO of your dental practice. Answering the following questions will help start this process:

What…

  • Do you value the most?
  • Do you want your legacy to be?
  • Inspires you the most about working at your practice?
  • Is one thing you would change about your practice?

Why is this so important?

Knowing what you want to create in your practice and what you want to be known for shapes the culture. Designing a dental practice culture around your core values becomes the framework for teamwork. It guides the actions and behaviors of the team when you’re present, and, more importantly, when you’re not. Your practice’s culture attracts talent with shared values and creates a positive experience for your patients. It really is that simple.

“Your culture is your brand.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

What if I told you that culture:

  • Determines your level of success
  • Affects whether patients return or refer you
  • Attracts the right (or “wrong”) applicants to you
  • Has an impact on every area of the practice

When we examine the values and culture of the fastest producing companies we uncover something really amazing. According to LinkedIn’s Top Companies report in 2019, Google, Facebook, and Amazon were ranked as the top 3 companies Americans most want to work at and stay at. These companies invest heavily in these soft concepts of culture and people first. They are also outperforming year after year. Would you say this is by design or by default?

The idea of these soft skills is an area to embrace. These concepts are expanding and their demand and relationship to a thriving business will only grow in time.  As small business owners, we can learn from these companies and scale a model that works within our framework. Adopting these concepts has a ripple effect and impacts every area in your life.

Define your culture

So, the question becomes, what do you want your culture to be?

Your role is to become clear about what you really want and commit to your own development. Developing your leadership qualities and skills is just as critical to your business as your clinical skills. Being in that space of development, your team is inspired by a culture of learning and growing. Therefore, it creates an environment of opportunity, fulfillment, and purpose. It expands what we do to be an expression of why and how. In addition, it shows up in every area of the practice and every touchpoint with the patient.

Improved performance will come as a result of your team’s clarity about the vision and culture of your practice. Clearly defined roles and expectations, clear communication, team meetings, onboarding, training, accountability, recognition, and incentives need to be implemented to support this process. Additionally, investment in team development should not be overlooked either.

We must not forget about team retention. Holding onto great talent begins with taking the interviewing and hiring process very seriously. Once we lay down the cultural foundation, we must then take the time to vet candidates as a true fit for our practice. So, those who apply themselves effectively will reinforce the culture and embody the values of the practice.

An Exclusive Offer for the DentalPost Community

If you’re serious about transforming your practice I am here to support you in making it happen. Connect with me to take advantage of a Discovery Session and let’s start planning your amazing year! I will share with you my Core Values Worksheet that I use with clients, and we’ll uncover how to create the breakthrough you’re looking for.

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DentalPost is the dental industry’s premier and largest online and mobile job board.
We connect and educate more than 850,000 job seekers in the U.S. and Canada to build better places to work through teams that excel.

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