5.04.07 - Issue # 269 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Jean Gallienne RDH BS
Hygiene Consultant
McKenzie Management
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A Staff Without Job Descriptions

Does your practice have job descriptions?  Do your employees know what is expected of them?  It is not uncommon for an employee to accept a job without knowing what is really expected of them as a team member. Why are people willing to do this? Most people are not going to buy a car without test-driving it. So, why would we want to take a job position without knowing what is expected of us as team members? After all this is our career we are talking about.

It is very common in many offices, where there are no job descriptions for employees to follow.  The doctor says to us, “Well I want everybody to be cross trained and be capable of helping each other out. I don’t want staff telling me that was not in my job description.” This is something that NO employer wants to hear.

Employees without a written job description may run into many problems. There should be accountability for every job in the dental office. Otherwise, when something is done wrong or not at all, there is nobody to hold accountable because there was not a job description. Usually when something is done correctly, people are quick to want recognition. However, when something is done incorrectly, not all people will admit a mistake.

Who is accountable for:

  • Answering the phone?
  • Filling the doctor’s schedule?
  • Filling the hygiene schedule?
  • Treatment planning root planing?
  • Selling dentistry?
  • Preparing for morning huddle/business meetings?
  • Monitoring hygiene production?
  • Sterilizing instruments?
  • Cleaning operatories?
  • Probing?
  • Checking for questionable areas?
  • Going over treatment?
  • Reinforcing treatment already diagnosed but not completed?
  • Going over financials?
  • Confirming patients?

These are all questions that should be answered within the job description for each staff member. There are so many other questions that need to be answered in order for accountability within the dental practice. These are just a few of the most obvious ones. There are many other jobs in every position that a team member needs to do other than cleaning teeth, assisting the doctor or working up front.

We have created job descriptions for many of the positions in the dental office. These may be downloaded at www.mckenziemgmt.com. The doctor should read through the job descriptions and add or delete any particular duty that he or she may feel is not appropriate for their practice. Then, have existing staff help in creating these job descriptions in order to make them custom to your office by adding or subtracting particular jobs from each one. It is recommended not to put an employee name on the job description but a name of a position. Now, the employee name may be written on a copy of the original job description in order to have specific accountability. However, if you were to hire a new staff member and give him or her a job description for Susie, that really is not informing them of the job title they are holding. When hiring a new employee, wouldn’t it be nice to just hand them this information so they have a place to look for the correct answer?

Yes, we do believe in the team approach and recommend that at the bottom of every job description you will want to add duties that everybody may help with. However, there will be specific job descriptions that will actually be accountable for that particular job.

Job descriptions also help when the doctor is looking at doing performance reviews or evaluating who should or should not get raises. They also help when hiring a new employee. They allow the new employee to look at the job description they are interviewing for and see for themselves if they are willing to accept the responsibilities before taking the position. This will hopefully prevent your practice from hiring people that are not willing to do the job needed, in order to be a part of your team, thus helping to cut down on the amount of turnover.

Creating job descriptions is an important part of managing the dental practice and should be looked at being done by all practices. Help your team to have the best in guidance.

Interested in knowing more about how to improve your hygiene department? Email hygiene@mckenziemgmt.com.

Interested in having Jean speak to your dental society or study club Click Here.

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