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Who Sets The Mood of the Practice?

Posted September 27, 2016

Laura Hatch

Of course we all have our good days and our bad days—we’re only human.

The same is true for your office and your team as a whole. There are great days when it seems like everyone is on the same page, having fun, working hard… and then there are those days when it is miserable and you can’t wait to go home. Those days are definitely no fun.

If your office could run like those good days all the time, wouldn’t it be more fun to go to work each day? Wouldn’t your team be more productive overall?

There are three major factors that you have control over to help determine a good day versus a bad day in the office.

1. How your team starts the day.

It is important to have the team start on the same page (and on a positive page).

That is why the morning huddle is vital. When the team starts the day with good communication, planning how the day will run, discussing how they can make the day productive and addressing issues that might come up to cause havoc in the day, everyone works better as a team.

When everyone is on the same page working as a unified organization, the day runs more smoothly and efficiently.

Also, when you start the day by getting everyone to communicate about what is going on, you’re establishing a team that will communicate throughout the day, hence resulting in a better team environment.

2. Doctor’s attitude at the start of the day.

How the doctor handles the morning meeting, and how they greet staff, can make or break the attitude of the rest of the team all day.

For example, let’s say the staff goes to huddle in the morning in a happy overall mood, ready to take on the day, and then the doctor comes in grouchy and short-tempered. What do you think happens to the mood of the staff? Everyone becomes more somber and works to stay away from the doctor so as not to make him/her mad. Not a good way to start the day.

Now on the flip side, let’s say the office mood was kinda blah— you know, a Monday morning kind of mood—and the doctor comes in ready to play games and have fun. In that case, the doctor’s mood can turn the staff’s mood around, resulting in a happier and more motivated team that is ready to take on the day.

dental office
3. Leaving outside issues at the door.

Everyone on the team has outside work and personal issues to deal with, and that is understandable. However, those issues need to be kept outside work and not brought into the office.

Encourage employees to choose a specific visual reminder for this. When getting to work, they should notice and focus on one thing as they walk in (maybe the back gate or a potted plant) that reminds them to leave their personal issues outside the office doors.

Employees are basically “on stage” at the office, and they need to bring their best game and attitude for the well-being of the patients. The office will be more fun and will run more effectively when there are not outside personal issues leaking into the running of the dental office.

Why the office mood matters…

Every day, things are going to happen in the office that affect how well the day runs, and some of them we can’t control. What that means is that it’s vital for us to take charge of the issues that we can control.

Having the staff and doctor on the same page with the right attitude will help the day go better, and a happier team will be able to handle more unexpected issues in a positive manner.

Another major way to influence the mood of the practice is through skillful use of scheduling. A schedule that is rushed, over-filled, and frustrating leads to lower staff morale, unhappy patients, and (in many cases) production not ending up where we were hoping.

Too often we create dental schedules in a reactive way, just sticking a patient’s appointment wherever there is a hole, whether it fits there well or not—just to get the production. That is the wrong way to build a schedule.

A schedule needs to be proactively built with realistic times for appointments and should follow office policy on handling same-day emergencies. That way, production goals can be met without staff having to run around like chickens with their heads cut off.

It is important to have a realistically built schedule that helps you hit your daily goals in such a way that the result is happy patients, happy staff, and happy doctor.

At Front Office Rocks, we’ve developed a scheduling policy that helps offices make this happen. To see an overview of our scheduling policy, send us a message.

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