The Employee Perk Potholes
Sally Mckenzie, CMC
You give, they take, you give ...
if you’re feeling a lack of appreciation from your staff for
what you do for them, it’s a good bet your employees are feeling
the same. But you forked over big, fat, financial perks in the form
of bonus checks just a couple months ago, right. So, by golly, they
need to be thanking you all the way to the bank, which they did.
Now that little exercise is over and we are back to the day-to-day
routine. That routine means you give orders, they take them, and
at the end of the day everyone goes home. Now where, can you imagine,
did that financial motivation evaporate to?
cannot purchase motivation with an annual bonus. Inspiring employees
to achieve peak performance and to maintain a positive attitude
requires a different investment on a daily basis.
how do you light a fire under them? First, light a fire under yourself.
Make a commitment to show appreciation daily. Make it a point to
single out a different employee everyday and recognize them
in front of the others for a specific task they performed well,
a situation they handled with finesse, meeting a practice goal,
give staff the tools to become more productive members of your team.
Everyone in the office can benefit if you send one auxiliary
to an educational seminar. Ask the designated staff member to attend
on behalf of the office and present a mini workshop on
what they’ve learned at a future staff meeting. This demonstrates
to the employee that you value them and you are willing to invest
in their professional growth. It also helps them to take ownership
in educating the rest of the team on a new procedure or policy that
can be implemented to improve the practice as a whole.
give them a voice. Staff members want to feel that they are contributing
to the success of the team. You may be surprised to find that your
employees take great satisfaction and ownership in shaping successful
strategies and implementing them to the benefit of the
entire practice. Staff members provide critical insight into the
integral workings of the practice and often their input into the
development of policies and procedures is invaluable. The best decisions
regarding office policies are those reached by the staff as a group.
last motivator is money. Salary increases should be performance-based
and according to specific criteria, which the employees
are fully aware of. When raises are given, make sure the employee
understands the entire compensation package. Make judicious use
of bonuses. You may have an excellent year because the computer
software company with 400 employees opened up down the street –
not because the team as a whole made a commitment to take steps
to improve production and productivity. If you give bonuses, attach
them to goals achieved rather than an annual expectation. Bonuses
should recognize doing a job extremely well, not just showing up
for work on a regular basis.
in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club?
An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause
“Digital Chaos” Part 7
VP Professional Relations
Last week I discussed the Hygiene business system as an integral
part of your business foundation and ways to leverage your technology
article]. This week I will focus on your collection system and
ways to leverage your technology platform.
Collection 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
designated financial business administrator should report the following
at your monthly team meetings.
for the last reporting period (usually a month)
- Collection percentage
of production (usually by month)
- Over the counter
- Total Accounts Receivable
- Total Accounts Receivable
with credit balances calculated
- Percentage of accounts
receivable in the 60 and 90 day categories
- Comparison to last
reporting period statistics
this business system foundation exists in your practice, here are
some ways you can use your technology to leverage this solid business
a payment code to your database. Call it “front desk payment”,
or, “payment at time of service”. Use this code
to post payments made at the front desk. Do NOT use this code
to post payments made through the mail (insurance or billing
statements). At each reporting period, run a report on this
code. Divide the total dollars collected using this
code by the total dollars produced for the reporting period
(usually a month). The resulting number is a percentage
of collections received over the counter at the front desk.
In a practice that accepts assignment of benefits, this
number should be somewhere between 35% and 45% each month.
receivable reports should be run at least three times per week.
The resulting list should be brought up on the screen (not printed
paper). Notes resulting from outgoing phone calls should be
entered into the computer system (not written on paper). Planned
or promised payments by patients should be noted and followed
up on using your computer systems Memo or To Do function. The
whole team needs to know what’s going on with patients
who have outstanding balances. Entering pertinent notes regarding
collections will keep everyone on the same page.
you are having a hard time estimating the patient’s portion
at the front desk, you are probably not updating your systems’
bluebook or insurance table when you post insurance payments.
Your computer system (most likely) has the ability to remember
exactly what a certain plan pays for a certain ADA code. Many
of you do not use this feature, or, use it incorrectly. Get
your team the training they need to use this feature. Here is
a test for you. If you look out at your front desk and see a
calculator within 22 inches of your computer keyboard –
immediately ask yourself the question “why”?
always, always run billing every day. There is no reason
not to. If you do not know how to set up your computer system
to do cycle billing – get trained or call support. Running
statements every day will smooth your cash flow, provide a higher
level of patient service, smooth your incoming patient billing
inquiries, keep you’re A/R in check, and make your staff
happier. There is no logical reason why a dental practice would
not run billing daily.
week we will discuss your treatment planning system and ways to
leverage your computer system investment.
if you have any topics or issues you would like to see discussed,
please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club?
Missed Past Issues of Our e-Motivator Newsletter?
The Cold Shoulder
Giving Dentists And Their Staff Different Perspectives On Day To
I feel like I have a great staff. My office manager has been
with me 2 years and the rest of the team has been with me for at
least 1 year. They show up to work on time, treat the patients well,
and generally perform their assigned duties.
The problem I seem to be having is a general indifference toward
me. I am very business like in the office and not "buddy buddy"
with the staff.
I do not want them to be my "friends", but I think mutual
respect is in order.
examples, nobody says "good morning" to the doctor…
me. They say good morning to each other, and chat, but not with
me. The same thing generally happens in the afternoon. Nobody says
goodbye or have a nice evening!
Again, I do not want friends, but I do want to know that everybody
is happy here, and we respect each other.
would not call myself a hard-ass, but I do expect performance, and
I will address issues where they may be slacking, etc, but in a
very business like manner.
gives? Have I alienated them? If so, why are they still working
Dr. Buddy Nomore
They are still working for you because your office is a nice place
to work, and you have not alienated anyone because they are still
performing for you.
have high expectations and you can take credit for creating a team
that can provide that level of performance. So, what gives?
how the team is very friendly to each other. This is because
being friendly helps to make the work experience more enjoyable
and is part of the work culture.
will assume that your office manager is a friendly person and enjoys
managing her team, because it is the manager that creates the culture
in many offices. They continue to perform because they like her.
owner can become alienated when they lose touch with their connection
to the team and that is through the manager. Indifference toward
the manager must be avoided.
owners desire a connection with their team; however, it
is up to the owner to create that accessibility.
surmise that you are not “buddy buddy”, because you
do not want to be friends; however, it is not socially consistent
to avoid being friendly and want everyone to be happy and respect
truth is they do respect each other; they just don’t respect
you, because you are giving them a reason to behave this
you would not call yourself a hard-ass, one thing is clear and that
is you are aware of what being a hard-ass is. Is it possible that
you are what you do not want to be, or is it possible that you want
to be a hard-ass, because it is a way to put distance between you
and the team (all women). Does this distance feel more comfortable?
all put distance between ourselves and people, issues and events
that cause us discomfort. Is it possible that being closer
and friendlier challenges your own sense of comfort in your own
issues in a very businesslike fashion is never a problem and it
is actually expected. It is when there are no issues that perhaps
your inability to smile on a good day sends a message to your manager
and staff that you are not to be approached except for a paycheck?
distance that exists between you and your staff is a distance that
you create. When you hire staff, you should hire people
that you like. And when you hire people that you like, it is easier
to smile and say good morning to them because you are happy to see
them. They in turn will say goodbye to you.
solution: take the initiative and smile and say good morning
to everyone as you see them. Do this slowly, not all at once on
the same day. Going to lunch with your office manager twice a month
is necessary. Do not change your business like manner; this is not
Want your issues answered? Ask the firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKenzie Management's Executive
Unleashing your potential to maximize
Want information? ...
I was thinking the other day of the best business decision I have
made in my 26 years of practice. Was it going computerized in 1989?
No! Was it buying an intra-oral camera in 1990? No! Those were great
decisions, but by far the best one was hiring McKenzie Management
to oversee my practice. That decision has paid and continues
to pay huge dividends in production, collection and all systems.
Thanks so much!
Dr. Larry Levin
"Thanks a Bunch" Employee Motivation Program
Employees thanking employees for helping each other is another
way of bringing the team together. At McKenzie Management we instituted
the "Thanks a Bunch" Program. Materials needed are:
bulletin board, index cards, and push pins. Whenever an employee
does something for another employee that is not part of their
job, that employee writes out a "thank you" index card
and places it on the bulletin board under the designated employee's
name. At our weekly meeting, the employees who received cards
bring them to the meeting and they are read in front of the team.
The team then votes on whether or not it is a legitimate thank
you. At the end of the month, whoever has the most cards is given
the opportunity of pulling from the "money bucket" two
times. The money bucket has different pieces of paper with denominations
of money from a blank piece, $1.00, $5.00, etc. up to $50.00.
The second and third place winner draw one time from the money
bucket. You could also have a "prize" bucket instead
of money. Recognition for a job well done that helps the team
has been very motivating.
Performance Measurements - Book & Audio Tapes
easy and effective method to measure dental employee performance
by Sally McKenzie, CMC
Rating employee performance is a dreaded task for most dentists.
Now it will be easier for you using objective performance measurements
that are specifically designed for the dental practice. These
extensive, ready-to-use appraisal forms help you measure an employee's
performance based on their:
Your Performance Measurements kit includes an extensive workbook
with copy-ready appraisal forms and measurement graphs to use
for each employee, PLUS two audio tape guides. In addition, you
will learn: how to determine the number of employees needed for
a successful practice, how to design results-oriented job descriptions
for all business and clinical staff, use performance charting
to objectively measure your employees, and make sound hiring and
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- Part II
Absence of Trust
The traditional definition of trust is to be able to predict a person's
Fear of Conflict
Limit conflict to concepts and ideas and avoid personality focused
or mean-spirited attacks.
Lack of Commitment
Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with
complete buy-in from every member of the team.
Avoidance of Accountability
Team members who are particularly close to one another sometimes
hesitate to hold one another accountable precisely because they
fear jeopardizing a valuable personal relationship. Ironically this
only causes the relationship to deteriorate as team members begin
to resent one another for not living up to expectations and for
allowing the standards of the group to erode.
Inattention to Results
Every good organization specifies what it plans to achieve in a