6 Benefits Feedback Will Bring To Your Practice

By Sally McKenzie, CEO Printer Friendly Version

Feedback is a powerful tool. Providing continual feedback leads to positive changes in your practice and motivates your employees to excel. It helps you create a strong team with everyone focused on doing their part to move the practice forward, and that results in enhanced efficiencies and increased productivity.

Even so, many dentists just don’t think about offering regular feedback. Instead, they keep it to once a year during performance reviews—which isn’t nearly enough. As the practice CEO, it’s important for you to offer feedback to your team members every day. This level of guidance and communication will help employees grow as professionals and improve their overall performance, and that of course brings benefits to your practice. Here are six of those benefits:

1. Job performance will improve. If team members don’t know what they’re doing wrong, it’s pretty difficult for them to make corrections. That’s why it’s so important to provide constructive criticism. If you see employees doing something they shouldn’t, take them aside and talk with them about it. Let them know how they can improve their performance, and, if necessary, provide them with additional training. They’ll appreciate this guidance and will become more efficient, allowing them to contribute even more to practice success.

2. Morale will get a boost. If you’re not providing team members with the guidance they need to be successful, they’ll feel lost and unsatisfied with their roles. With continual feedback from you, they’ll know what areas to work on and will be able to make necessary adjustments. They’ll become more effective and confident in what they’re doing, and that leads to happier employees who enjoy coming to work each day.

3. Employees will stay loyal. If team members are unhappy, they won’t hesitate to start looking for a new job—and team members who don’t get the guidance they crave are usually unhappy. Feedback gives team members the opportunity to grow as professionals, and will make them feel more connected to your practice. You taking the time to offer guidance shows you care about their professional development, and they’ll reward that with loyalty.  

4. Staff conflict becomes less likely. Lack of clarity when it comes to job duties is one of the biggest contributors to staff conflict. Providing feedback ensures everyone knows who’s responsible for what, helping to ward off conflict and all the trouble it brings.

5. Communication improves. Lack of communication can be a practice killer, leading to frustration, inefficiencies and conflict. Feedback strengthens communication, especially when it’s not just a one-way street.

I suggest you create a culture where feedback is welcome—whether it’s coming from you or another employee. Encourage team members to not only give each other feedback, but to offer their thoughts to you as well. Take everything they say seriously, and use their suggestions to make your practice better. Let them know they can come to you with ideas and concerns, and that you value their opinions. This helps them feel more connected to the practice and allows them to take more ownership of their roles. They become more effective and your practice becomes more profitable.

6. They can put more focus on the patient. If team members are always wondering if they’re meeting your expectations, they’re not able to put all their focus on what matters most: providing exceptional patient care. They’ll be distracted, and that will show in the way they interact with patients.

Team members need clear direction to excel in their roles and to provide patients with the best care possible. Feedback is one way to provide that direction, giving employees the confidence they need to effectively perform their duties. Patients will notice the difference, and that will help lead to higher retention numbers and practice growth.

They’re not mind readers
You might think your team members know when they’re not meeting your expectations, but that isn’t the case. You have to tell them, which is where continual feedback comes in. Let’s say you overhear your Scheduling Coordinator getting a past due patient to finally make an appointment, for example. Take her aside and let her know you appreciate her contributions, and make it clear what her efforts mean to practice growth. She’ll be happy that you noticed, and will be motivated to keep up the good work.

On the other hand, if you overhear her putting up barriers to scheduling, such as telling patients the practice doesn’t offer weekend appointments without suggesting alternatives, take her aside and let her know how she can do better next time. She’ll know to offer early morning or evening appointments when the situation comes up again, which could be what it takes to get busy past due patients back on the schedule.

Feedback really is a powerful tool that will help employees improve their performance. When you start giving feedback every day, you’ll notice positive changes in your practice—including improved efficiencies, increased productivity and a more robust bottom line.

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Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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