Perk or Pothole?
Sally Mckenzie, CMC
Obstacles To Achieving The Ideal Practice"
This week ... one of the barriers
likely to be interfering in your ability to reach your goals. Next
week I’ll discuss proven solutions.
do they want?” You’ve got that
befuddled look on your face again, doctor. The sighs, the groans,
the cold shoulder, the rolling eyes – it’s baaaaack.
The dreaded employee ATTITUDE. The happy
holidays came and went; bonuses were given and have long
been spent. Now staff are looking at you like, “You want me
to do WHAT!?” As if according to some secret schedule, the
employees’ warm, fuzzy feelings for you and the practice as
well as their enthusiasm for doing their jobs have all but disappeared,
packed away until next year when bonus time rolls around again.
think that whopping financial perk you dole out once a year would
buy you more than a few months of good feelings and productivity,
wouldn’t you? Actually, if you were able to purchase
increased productivity and positive attitudes, you were
probably pretty lucky. It may come as a surprise, but financial
perks won’t buy what you need from employees. In fact, they
could be creating more potholes in your professional road and your
pocketbook than you have time or resources to fill. Believe it or
not, your staff doesn’t necessarily want your money –not
that a little extra cash isn’t a nice plus when you can do
it. But what they do want is often far more difficult to part with
than the annual “giving of the green” – if you
can imagine that.
crave appreciation and recognition for a job well done on a daily
basis – not an annual basis. Acknowledgment and recognition
from the supervisor is cited frequently as the number one
staff motivator. Financially, it costs you nothing yet
staff recognition has the potential to yield a tremendous return
in both job satisfaction and financial gain. When employees feel
appreciated, they work harder, they produce more, they have better
relationships with fellow employees and patients, and overall success
of the practice is significantly improved.
you, they are looking for challenge, responsibility, and a positive,
stimulating environment. In addition to acknowledgement
for a job well done, another recognized staff motivator is the opportunity
for professional growth. It’s time to get past money and to
the heart of what really matters to your staff.
week, the proven staff motivators.
in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club?
An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause
“Digital Chaos” Part 6
VP Professional Relations
Foundation and System
Last week I discussed your recall/hygiene business system as an
integral part of your business foundation and why it is so important
to get it organized appropriately before automating
the process [see
article]. To review, I separated
the responsibilities of the recall coordinator and the hygienist
in order to establish clear accountability and eliminate negative
team dynamics. This issue focuses on your hygienist(s) responsibility
to the business system and ways to leverage your technology platform.
hygiene/recall system – its individual foundation
description – The written, discussed, and agreed reason
Expectations – The performance you expect from this
Goals – Clearly attainable performance objectives in
support of your vision
Responsibility – Who is ultimately responsible for
this particular business system
Reporting mechanisms – Which reports they run to measure
Accountability – Presenting the reporting results to
the owner and the team
Statistical performance reviews – Compilation of reports
for the business system(s) under the responsibility of a particular
hygienist(s) should be responsible for maximizing her productivity
every day. Your hygienist(s) needs to track and report ....
- Production per day
- Production per week
- Production per month
- Interceptive periodontal
- Interceptive periodontal
therapy as a percentage of overall production
- Hygiene production
as a percentage of total office production
this business system foundation exists in your practice, here are
some ways you can use your technology to leverage this solid business
clinical computing requires its own article series which I will
address in future issues. There are literally dozens of ways a hygienist
can leverage chairside computing power for the betterment of the
dental practice. With that said, let’s take a look at some
things they can do with almost any dental system without
having a computer in their operatory.
business of hygiene will be improved by entering individual
time units needed per patient. Not every patient requires 60
minutes for their recall visit. Check your software for the
capability of entering the number of units needed for each patient.
Update the patient record. We have observed through our in-office
consulting the addition of two additional patients per day to
the schedule. It also staggers traffic flow to and from the
front desk, which inevitably reduces bottlenecks. If you employ
a hygiene assistant, they will appreciate the smoother workflow
during the day rather than the spike/valley workflow created
from consistent appointment times.
business of hygiene will also be improved if your practice management
software can manage multiple recall “tracks”. An
example would be a patient who needs a 4910 every 6 months and
a 1110 every six months. Entering these specific tracks will
organize your hygiene coordinator perfectly. They will know
exactly “why” the patient needs to come in. If it
is set up at the beginning, the system should require no alteration
until the treatment regimen changes in the future. In other
words, set it up right once and make everyone
on the team more efficient, more effective, while providing
a higher level of service to your patients.
some cases, when the hygiene coordinator is newer to the office,
the hygienist should be required and paid to review the overdue
recall list with the hygiene coordinator once per month until
the hygiene coordinator has been with the practice for 6 months.
The hygiene coordinator is responsible for preparing the list.
It should take less than an hour for the hygienist and the hygiene
coordinator. Their goal is to share information about individual
patients. They should discuss the patient’s history with
the practice, their perceived value of the recall visit, their
tendencies, and even the best way to contact the patient.
bitewing, panorex, and full mouth series dates “should”
automatically calculate through your practice management software.
Check for these important dates. Update them from the paper
chart (or your old system) if you have changed practice management
software in the past 24 months. Updating these dates tells the
hygiene coordinator what needs to be done at the next visit.
This will allow the appropriate time in the schedule. This will
keep your schedule on time. The result will be a comfortable
and accurate patient flow, more efficient processing at the
front desk, and better patient service.
week we will discuss your collections system and advanced ways to
automate those processes.
in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club?
Missed Past Issues of Our e-Motivator Newsletter?
Giving Dentists And Their Staff Different Perspectives On Day To
Help! The troops are surrounding me and lining up for employee
reviews. Why do I hate them? Is it because they take a long time
to prepare, a lot of thought and creativity to judge an employee
that I don't work knee to knee with, or is it because I can't
see any room for improvement and can't afford a raise, or I can
see too much room for improvement and don't know where to start,
and not be too critical or negative? Are there any short cuts, or
standardized forms, one for hygienists, one for assistants, and
one for front desk assistants? I hate confrontations and I hate
to be too critical, or negative but the whole concept of reviews
twists up my stomach. Can you help?
Dr. Peter Peptabismol
Performance reviews are important to your staff. The staff always
wants to be appreciated for their work and wants to know what you
really think of them. Are you concerned about telling them the truth?
Your entire question assumes that you do not like the performance
of at least some of them and fear telling this truth.
is much to be learned in your use of the phrase "surrounding
me". Being surrounded, implies you have no options. This is
simply not true, but it feels like it, apparently. You do have options
regarding who you like and who you dislike, and you do have options
regarding who you keep and who you release.
is much to be learned in your use of the phrase “I hate them.”
Such a strong emotional expression begs that there are other personal
issues going on than performing the task of regular performance
spent in analysis and creativity while performing a review are activities
that the mind enjoys as a general rule; however, being placed in
a position to analyze and judge others is obviously not comfortable
for you; however, it is an expected responsibility as you are the
leader of the company. Do you dislike managing a team for success?
This might also be an aspect of the problem.
you know how your practice is being run and do you care to know?
Inadequate management skills leave you vulnerable to all kinds of
performance problems. At a minimum, you should be aware of how your
office manager feels (if you have one) about each individual that
she works with on a daily basis. Can your office manager be a source
of information that would make this task easier? Probably not, because
the problem is not the review, but rather the position of power
that you must accept in order to perform your obligation to the
doubt, you may feel that the staff holds you hostage. When you state
“can’t see any room for improvement, can see too much
room for improvement”, "Oh my, what if they want a raise?"
All of these concerns are typical management issues that require
some action on your part… Are you up to the challenge of taking
avoidance of this responsibility betrays your own reluctance to
become involved in your own business. In all business, there is
always the challenge to be liked by your staff verses being disliked
and talked about. You are apparently aware of this delicate balance
and are concerned about being disliked…. But isn’t there
an option of releasing the people whose performance is inadequate
and avoid the disliked feeling for the long-term? Build a team that
you like and the problem goes away.
Want your issues answered? Ask the firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKenzie Management's Executive
Unleashing your potential to maximize
Want information? ...
I haven't seen you in a while because I have been too busy making
money to come to any of the big meetings. Since our last visit with
your consultant in my office, our production has risen to over 20%
per month. Last month I quit working Friday's, and come in 30 minutes
later. Thanks for the help. Hope to see you this year at some meeting.
David Black, DDS
How To Reward Your Dental Team?
To Reward Your Dental Team
by Sally McKenzie, CMC
Learn when and how to reward your staff. Understand why saying
can mean more than dangling a financial carrot. This book is full
of checklists and questionnaires to help you determine what rewards
are best suited for each of your team members.
You will understand when to use non-financial versus financial
rewards, when to use group versus individual rewards, plus how
important it is to set performance goals so you know when to give
a reward. You will learn the difference between rewarding employees
for outstanding performance versus paying them a bonus for simply
doing their job.
1-10, I would rate my training at The Center a 20! I now have confidence
that I can make a difference in the practice and the knowledge to
implement all of my new skills. I know that I can make immediate
changes and it feels good to have tangible tools to show for my
time away from the office. The instructor was willing to go at my
pace even if it meant working late. I highly recommend The Center
if you are tired of running your office the old fashioned way. Anyone
who actually wants their office to run smooth and make money should
go through this training."
Business Training For:
· Office Managers
· Financial Coordinators
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators
· Hygiene Coordinators
Your Skills NOW!
Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental
737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037
For a FREE Educational Video
5 Dysfunctions of a Team
Absence of Trust
Trust is the confidence among team members that their peer's intentions
are good and there is no reason to be protective.
Fear of Conflict
It is ironic that so many people avoid conflict in the name of efficiency
because healthy conflict is actually a time saver: avoiding conflict
actually dooms themselves to revisit the issue over and over.
Lack of Commitment
There is nothing that is certain in life; a decision is better than
no decision at all; better to make a decision boldly and be wrong
and then change direction with equal boldness rather than to waffle
in many cases.
Avoidance of Accountability
The most efficient means for maintaining high standards of performance
on a team is peer pressure. There's nothing like letting down your
teammates that motivates people to improve their performance.
Inattention to Results
It is injurious to the team to care about something other than the
collective goals of the group. There must be an unrelenting focus
on specific objectives and clearly defined outcomes. Every successful
dental practice specifies what it plans to achieve in a given time.