How Bad Hires Cost You Patients and Hurt Practice Profits
You can’t run a successful dental practice on your own. You need strong, talented team members to support you and do their part to move the practice forward. Yet, I’ve seen so many dentists rush through the hiring process every time they have an open position, bringing on people who do nothing but hold the practice back.
That process should include developing a job description, placing a detailed ad, watching for common red flags in resumes, conducting phone interviews, asking the right questions when you meet candidates face-to-face, and conducting personality assessment tests before making an offer. It shouldn’t include hiring the first person you see with an impressive resume or bringing on a family member who doesn’t have the right skillset or temperament for the job.
Hiring the wrong person leads to stress for everyone in the office and damages your practice. Not convinced? Here’s how bad hires can cost you patients and hurt practice profits.
Bad hires lead to staff conflict. If your Scheduling Coordinator doesn’t know how to properly schedule your hygienist, or your Office Manager thinks it’s OK to take long lunches and stroll in late most days, it will lead to conflict among your team members. When tensions rise, your patients will notice and it will make them uncomfortable. When patients are uncomfortable, they usually don’t come back.
Your practice won’t be nearly as efficient as it should be. There are two types of bad hires: the ones who just aren’t qualified for the role and the ones who intend to do the least amount of work possible and still collect a paycheck. Whichever one you end up with, the result is the same – a reduction in practice efficiencies. This could lead to longer wait times for patients, not to mention a lot of undue stress for the rest of your team. Not only will productivity go down, you’ll likely end up losing patients.
Customer service will suffer. When team members spend their time gossiping or complaining about one another, or struggle to perform their daily tasks, they’re certainly not focusing on providing an exceptional patient experience. If customer service isn’t a priority, patients won’t feel as welcome in the practice, which could lead them to make their next appointment at the practice down the street.
You’ll experience more turnover. The reason dentists fill open positions so quickly is because they want to get the hiring process over with as soon as they can. The problem is, that usually backfires. When you bring someone on who isn’t qualified, that person will likely be miserable and end up quitting, if you don’t have to let him or her go first.
You might also find that other team members decide to jump ship. If a bad hire is causing too many problems and conflict in the practice, even your most loyal employees will only be able to take so much before they start looking for another job. This leads to more stress in the practice and makes it difficult for patients to develop a connection with your ever-changing team.
I understand hiring new employees probably isn’t one of your favorite items on the to-do list, but making the right staffing choices really is vital to your success. Rushing through the process will lead to nothing but trouble. It’s better to leave a position open until you find the right person than to hire someone you hope will work out. Chances are that employee won’t last, and you’ll be right back where you started.
The bottom line is this: Bad hires cost you patients and eat into practice profits. They leave your other team members feeling stressed, and your patients thinking it might be time to find a new dental home. But qualified, hard-working team members, on the other hand, will do their part to contribute to practice success and help you meet your full potential.
If you’re still not sure how to hire the best people possible for your team, feel free to contact me. I’ll help you come up with a plan designed to attract talented, hard-working people to your staff.
Next week: Don’t just hire the best people, set them up for success
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email email@example.com
Do You Share Your Values with Your Team?
Front Office Training Case #FO567
Dr. J. Peabody (names have been changed) contacted McKenzie Management to enroll her team for front office business training. Her main concern was the lack of detail and focus the team demonstrated in performing their jobs and being “engaged” with the patients.
“The people at the front lack enthusiasm and just don’t seem to care about the practice or the patients,” lamented Dr. Peabody. “I want them to take their jobs seriously and put more effort into their work.”
There were three front office employees: “Jane” the Scheduling Coordinator, “Beth” the Financial/Insurance Coordinator, and “Stephine” the Patient Coordinator. The practice saw 50 to 60 patients a day and had 10 days of hygiene a week. Dr. Peabody had written job descriptions that she received earlier from McKenzie Management, and made sure there weren’t any areas where people “slacked off” from their duties.
During the two-day training program (the doctor was not present during the training), the three ladies were questioned about whether they viewed their jobs as “just a job” or a career opportunity. Jane was more of a communicator and voiced that she didn’t see it as a career because she didn’t have a say in anything that took place in the practice. It was a respectable job that paid the bills, but she wasn’t excited about being there.
“I do as I am told to do, no more, no less...”
Beth, the Financial Coordinator, voiced that she had a couple ideas to improve collections but never brought it up because she didn’t want to rock the boat.Stephine agreed with both Jane and Beth.
When questioned about their career philosophy and whether it matched Dr. Peabody’s practice philosophy, they all agreed they didn’t know what Dr. Peabody’s philosophy was other than to make money. Their response to the question: “Do you have a Mission Statement or a list of Core Values?” was “No.”
Matching the best employee to your practice requires a conversation about the practice philosophy and the employee’s philosophy about a career in dentistry. People who are presenting treatment plans to patients must have a belief in the importance of good, quality dental care and the benefits associated with good overall health in order to motivate patients to improve their oral health.
A phone conversation with Dr. Peabody that night helped her to draft a career philosophy. She evaluated her professional, moral and social values and did the following:
1. Created a mission/value statement for the practice
After sharing with the team, things started to improve. The three ladies were more enthusiastic with patients and with Dr. Peabody. Staff meetings took on a new agenda of sharing and discussing, instead of directing and ordering. Dr. Peabody felt that things would keep improving as long as she stayed connected to the team.
Do you need help establishing a rewarding connection with your team? Call McKenzie Management today for an evaluation of which training course would best suit your needs.
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