4 Signs You Have A Weak Team
No matter how talented you are as a dentist, your practice will suffer if you don’t have the right team members in place to support you. A strong team will help your practice grow and meet its full potential, while a weak team will do nothing but hold you back—costing you plenty of time, money and frustration along the way.
Unfortunately, many struggling dentists don’t realize just how important a strong team is to their practice’s success. They ignore any problems that come up, and hope team members will start magically meeting performance goals and boosting production numbers.
If your team isn’t meeting your expectations, it might be time to make some changes in your practice. Here are four signs you have a weak team, and what you can do to fix it.
1. They just can’t seem to get along. Most dentists want to avoid dealing with staff conflict at all costs, but trust me, ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
When there’s a conflict among team members, it costs you money—and I’m talking thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Staff morale suffers, leading to reduced production. And if the situation gets bad enough, team members might start looking for new jobs, even if they’re not directly involved in the conflict. That means you’ll need to spend time and money looking for replacements.
And yes, doctor, patients do notice when team members aren’t getting along. They may over hear a snide comment or simply feel the tension in the air, making them uncomfortable from the moment they walk in. Not only that, when team members are caught up in petty gossip or arguments, customer service suffers. The focus is no longer on the patient—it’s on whatever is causing the conflict. This all creates a negative patient experience, and may even prompt them to make their next appointment at the practice down the street.
As much as you might want to, you simply can’t ignore staff conflict. When you notice a problem among staff members, you have to help them find a solution before it puts a huge dent in your bottom line.
2. They’re not motivated. You need team members who love their job and who want to do their part to help your practice grow. If your team isn’t motivated to help you succeed, it could be because you haven’t given them enough guidance.
Like it or not, you have to lead your team. Create detailed job descriptions that give them the direction they need to succeed, as well as performance measurements. Sit down and talk with them about individual goals, and align them with practice goals. Share your vision for the practice, and let team members know how important they are to helping you make that vision a reality. When they see how their performance contributes to growing the practice, they’ll be more motivated to meet their goals and your expectations.
3. They’re not meeting expectations. While creating detailed job descriptions is key to helping employees meet expectations, it’s also important to provide regular feedback.
Praise team members when you see them going above and beyond, and take them aside and tell them when they’re doing something wrong. You might also want to consider conducting performance reviews to talk with employees about their progress. This regular feedback will help them succeed in their roles, and that will only mean good things for your practice and your bottom line.
4. They’re not confident in their skills. A poorly trained team is the biggest contributor to practice inefficiency and mismanagement. Simply put, if your team isn’t properly trained, it’s killing your production numbers and your bottom line. That’s why it’s so important to invest in training.
Make sure team members are properly trained from day one, and provide training every time you incorporate a new technology. If you don’t, instead of the new technology improving practice efficiencies and increasing production numbers, it will only lead to frustration and wasted time.
While training might cause a minor disruption to your team’s schedule, don’t let that deter you from investing in it. If your team members are properly trained, they’ll be much more comfortable performing their roles and more confident in their skills. That will save you a lot of time and money down the road, not to mention boost your production numbers.
If you want to create a successful, profitable practice, you can’t do it on your own. You have to have the right team behind you. Your team should be motivated, properly trained and prepared to work together toward one common goal—helping your practice meet its full potential.
Next week, Want a stronger team? Follow these tips.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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