How to Set New Team Members Up for Success
Building a strong team takes more than just hiring the right people – though that is an important element of practice success. Once you have the right people in place, you can’t expect them to magically start improving practice efficiencies and helping you grow your bottom line. For that to happen they need guidance from you, the practice CEO.
This is a mistake I see all the time. A dentist finally develops a hiring strategy and finds the perfect person to fill an open positon. This new hire has the right skill set and temperament to succeed, yet doesn’t meet expectations. Why? The dentist didn’t provide the new team member with any guidance.
No matter how talented or experienced your new hire may be, you can’t expect them to read your mind. This will only lead to frustration for you, the new employee, and everyone else in the practice. It might even be enough to send the latest addition to your team looking for a new job.
The good news is, you can take action now to ensure new hires meet and even exceed your expectations. I’ve put together a few tips to help you do just that.
Provide detailed job descriptions. I know, I know. Most dentists think job descriptions are a waste of time. I’m here to tell you they’re not. Detailed job descriptions outline the necessary skill set needed for each job and the tasks each role entails. They should include your expectations and provide clear performance measurements. Job descriptions serve as a road map to success for both new and current employees, and leave no doubt about who’s responsible for which tasks – preventing confusion and conflict among team members.
Hold team members accountable. When you hold team members accountable for certain systems, they’ll take ownership of those systems. They’ll look for ways to make their systems more efficient, which can ultimately help improve practice productivity and your bottom line. New team members will become more engaged in their roles if they know what they’re accountable for, making their job more fulfilling. And that, of course, will help keep them loyal to your practice.
Provide the necessary training. When dentists hire someone with 15 years of experience at another dental practice, they tend to expect that new team member to hit the ground running without any training. That’s a big mistake. The practice these employees came from has different systems and different expectations. New team members need to learn how you run your practice and what they can do to contribute to your practice’s success. And that, doctor, requires training.
Make sure new hires get the training they need to truly understand their role as well as your expectations. And I’m not talking about 10 or 15 minutes with the Office Manager to go over a few practice policies. I know you have a busy practice, but trust me, any time and money you spend on training will save you headaches and expenses down the road. The proper training and tools will make new team members more confident in their abilities, helping them excel in their roles while contributing to practice success.
Offer feedback. Team members, both old and new, crave feedback from you. They want to know what they’re doing right and how they can improve. I suggest you offer this type of feedback every day. Hear a team member scheduling a recall patient? Let that person know how important getting recall patients back on the schedule is to the practice and how much you appreciate the effort. This will motivate the new hire to contact and schedule even more recall patients, increasing practice productivity and revenues. Do the same when you see team members doing something wrong. Take them aside and let them know what the problem is and how they can improve. This type of feedback will go a long way in helping new team members grow, and that can only mean good things for your practice.
Hiring new team members is a stressful process for most dentists, and they’re often relieved when they finally find the right fit. You just have to remember the work doesn’t end there. To truly create a strong team, you need to offer new hires guidance, training and feedback. This will help them grow and excel as they contribute to your practice’s success.
Still not sure how to hire and train the right people? Don’t hesitate to give me a call. I’m happy to help.
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
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