Utilize the Best Person for the Job
Team members should all have specific job descriptions they are responsible and accountable for within the practice. However, many jobs within the office may not fall into any specific job description, and even if they do, there may be certain team members who are better fit to do specific jobs than others. These job functions may not be the typical description of a certain team member’s position, but that person may be the best person to get it done. Consider adding it to their job description when you do reviews, particularly if you are increasing wages or benefits.
Here’s an example. Supply orders are often completed by an assistant for the back office and a front office person for office supplies. Or perhaps there is a doctor or manager who wants to do everything him/herself. However, these specific team members may not be the best fit for the job, as there are already enough tasks within their job descriptions to keep them busy. Maybe the assistant or front office person you currently have doing the ordering spends far too much time concentrating on this job, when they should be able to get it done much more efficiently. This causes the rest of the team to work harder while too much time is spent on ordering.
Another common problem is that the office manager or doctor simply do not have the time to do the job as quickly and cost effectively as someone else could – and that’s if they get the job done at all! They have enough things to do and often the job gets pushed back farther and farther because there are other things more important on their lists that need to be done.
When it comes to ordering products for the office, choose the person who knows the most about the items to be ordered, is aware of the pricing for products, and will be frugal when making purchasing decisions. Some jobs, like ordering, may even be divided up. A hygienist may order supplies that pertain to hygiene, while the assistant takes care of doctor supplies, and a front office person may take care of office supplies.
It is recommended that you pick the best person for the job based on their skills, not just because it was originally in their job description. Job descriptions are there for guidance initially, but if a person joins your team and the job they applied for does not include a talent that they excel at, I hope you will add it to their job description. The original person can become the back-up. It is very important for this communication to be made known to all people involved, as there has to be accountability. The lead person for the job may delegate or ask for help when needed, but in the end they are the one responsible.
Another example is putting someone in charge of managing your office’s social network pages, such as Facebook and Twitter. Most people would immediately think a front office person should do this, however, if your front office person is not familiar with the applicable social network pages, and you have other staff members who are familiar with them, they may be a better fit for the task. Of course, you also want someone who has good judgement of what is appropriate to post.
Other additional jobs are OSHA, making sure maintenance is being done on equipment, internal and external lab communication, and writing patient correspondences.
The most important thing is to delegate certain tasks to team members who are best fit for the job. It is also important for additional jobs to be shared amongst the entire team so one person is not taking on everything. You may even have a team member who is responsible for delegating jobs to other team members. This helps to encourage teamwork and eliminate the separation of departments within the office. It may also help reduce the stress of the entire team – because it only takes one leader to be stressed to make the entire team stressed. And don’t ever think that patients cannot tell when an office is stressed!
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