Set Your Office Manager Up for Success
Finally hiring an Office Manager is an exciting time for most dentists. They now have someone to help with the business side of running a dental practice, giving them more time to focus on dentistry. Their expectations are high, and they can’t wait for this team member to get started.
Unfortunately, most dentists end up disappointed. The new Office Manager who came to the role with so much excitement and potential just isn’t performing as they had hoped. Instead of the “dream hire” these dentists envision, it all becomes a bit of a nightmare, which causes stress among the other team members and of course costs the practice money.
If you find yourself in this scenario, you’ve either hired the wrong person for the job or you haven’t taken the time to set your Office Manager up for success. You can’t hire someone with the right skill set and temperament and expect him or her to fix all your practice problems without a little direction and support from you. It’s important to give your Office Manager the tools and environment needed to succeed. Here’s how.
Put trust in your Office Manager. This is difficult for some dentists. Even though they’ve found a talented Office Manager to take over the business side of the practice, they still want to be part of every decision. For your Office Manager to be successful, you have to learn to let go. Give him or her the authority to make decisions and you’ll soon see an improvement in performance.
Consider your Office Manager a partner. This goes back to trusting your Office Manager. When you hire an Office Manager, you have to be prepared to give up some control of the business and trust this person to do what’s best for your practice.
Making your Office Manager feel like a true partner rather than just another team member will give him or her the confidence needed to take full ownership of the role. When this happens, both you and your Office Manager get the most out of the position. You’ll be able to focus more on your patients while your office benefits from improved efficiencies and increased production.
Provide a detailed job description. Even the most experienced Office Manager needs a job description. A detailed job description not only helps ensure you hire the right person for the position, it also serves as a roadmap for the new team member’s success. It should outline your expectations, responsibilities and performance measurements.
Many dentists think job descriptions are a waste of time, but I’m here to tell you they’re not. Job descriptions provide much needed guidance and will give your Office Manager more confidence and the ability to excel.
Offer proper training. Even if you’ve found the perfect person for the job, that doesn’t mean you can skip training. Proper training is key to your Office Manager’s success – and the same is true for any employee in your practice.
Most dentists opt to forego training because they don’t want to “waste” time. Trust me, it isn’t a waste of time. Far from it. Investing in training now will actually save you a lot of time and frustration down the road. Training will help ensure your Office Manager is comfortable with the role and ready to take over practice financials, start managing HR issues and take on the host of other responsibilities that come with the role.
I know the thought of training can be overwhelming for some dentists, especially if you’re not entirely sure what it takes to be an effective Office Manager. Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. McKenzie Management offers an Office Manager Training Course that is designed to set Office Managers up for success. Feel free to contact me for more details.
Hiring an Office Manager can be a daunting task. You have to find someone with the right skill set and temperament, as well as the ability to handle the pressures that come with the job. When you finally find the right person, you want this important team member to succeed. Otherwise it will lead to a lot of undue stress and frustration, not to mention cost the practice thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Follow these tips to set your Office Manager up for success from the very beginning, and your newest team member will do his or her part to help the practice thrive.
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