Is Performance or Likeability Leading Your Team?
In the world of owning a dental practice, would you rather be well-liked by all or respected for your work ethic? Which characteristic do you place a higher value for an employee: great personality or great performance? Both? Let’s put the possibilities to the test.
From experience working with many dental teams across the US and Canada, it becomes apparent in the first hour or two whether likeability or performance takes command over the team. There is usually denial that there is any favoritism shown toward any particular team member when performance measurements are discussed. However, I hear the following: “All the patients love her, but she doesn’t collect the right amount of money at the time of service” Or “Yes, we do put up with him being late every day because when he is here he works harder than any of the other assistants and is very funny.”
The team member being overlooked in this situation is the financial coordinator, who now has to follow-up with the patient who didn’t pay at the time of service, and the other dental assistant who is there on time and has to always take the first patient.
Sometimes the definition of playing favorites is not obvious unless you rate your own behavior. Most people are attracted to those who like them, but in the workplace this can get out of control. If your recognition of your team is linked to how well they like you versus how well they perform, you could be encouraging an environment of “brown-nosing” or saying what you want to hear instead of looking at the performance facts.
As CEO or team leader, ask the following:
Performance Measurements are an important part of practice management because they set a standard by which each job description or job position can be held accountable for a set of duties necessary for the practice success. It is great when patients love the scheduling coordinator, but not good when money is not collected. During a Performance Measurement of this employee, a high mark would be for likeability and a low mark for collecting monies. Both characteristics need to be addressed, because both are necessary for this position. It is possible to be well liked by the patients and also be a good collector.
For the dental assistant who is late every day, a low score for attendance and a high score for job skills. For the dental assistant who takes the first patient every day, a high score for work ethics and patient care.
Set up a schedule for performance reviews for each team member in the yearly calendar. Make every effort to stick to the schedule, otherwise you risk sending the message that it is not important. As CEO rely on your own observations and interactions with each team member. Don’t skip team meetings or morning huddles, as this is where feedback is given in regards to job performance and patient concerns. Stay connected with the team so that you will not be sideswiped by those team members who may want to be “your friend”.
If you have an Office Manager who is handling performance reviews, make sure that this person is trained to be unbiased in making employee assessments and is not swayed by favoritism. Have regular meetings with your Office Manager to discuss any staffing issues or performance issues before they become problematic.
Many offices move talent up the ranks without the proper training, mostly due to seniority or because they are likeable. Most dental assistants who desire to be managers have not had the training necessary for this position. Invest in the practice by investing in their success. Need help in managing your practice? Need to train your office manager? Call today and sign up for our next business management training session and get professional systems in place in your practice.Forward this article to a friend
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