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10.17.08 Issue #345 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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Need To Motivate Your Team?

Dr. Brian Glade—Case Study #435

Dr. Brian Glade’s concern and ultimate request was for assistance in motivating his dental team to better performance. His expectations were for a team that was

  • more productive and completed their jobs on time
  •  happier and more energetic
  •  enthusiastic about dentistry and promoted the practice

By "motivating" his team, Dr. Glade was hoping to increase his monthly production. Dr. Glade tried offering monthly bonuses to motivate his team but it is not that simple! The excitement soon wore off, although his expectation did not.

Dr. Glade's practice statistics:

Monthly net production for 2008—$75,450
Monthly net production for 2007—$74,500
Monthly net production for 2006— $75,800

From these statistics it is easy to surmise that Dr. Glade's practice has been stagnant for the past 3 years. No significant changes have taken place in the practice, such as additional hygiene days, a change in the number of new patients or a change in the number of days worked. His increased production for 2008 was not a result of his bonus structure but from an insignificant fee increase. If we were to review his office expenses, we would see an increase due to the bonuses; therefore, the actual net gain was less than the previous year.

Motivate Employees to Increase Production

Dr. Glade's final destination was increased production… but he was missing the road map. Motivation had nothing to do with it. His team members arrived at work every morning happy and willing to work hard for him. They wanted to increase production and make more money! So, what was the problem? They didn't know how! Their lack of knowledge was perceived by him as a lack of motivation. Every morning at the meeting, he gave the same speech: "Okay people, we need to increase production today."

Step #1: Provide team members with the tools they need in order to perform their duties. This could include a practice management consultant, a computer software trainer, and a dental supply company trainer for new technology or even a CareCredit representative to demonstrate the best way to communicate the benefits of financing.

Step #2: Establish a goal so they know when they are a "winner." With the appropriate education, the employees understand how to use their tools more effectively and efficiently. Together, they establish goals associated with their respective job descriptions.

  • For example, an assistant may have a goal of 3 additional full-mouth series per day. She/he has learned how to use the routing slip to determine when a patient’s last FMX was taken.
  • A hygienist may have a goal of recognizing the possible need for sealants on at least 1 patient per day. Dr. Glade has purchased a decay-detecting laser to assist him/her.
  • The financial coordinator's goal is to contact 3 past due accounts per day. She/he has learned how to more efficiently use the computer to access information.
  • The schedule coordinator’s goal is to schedule the doctor to a goal of $3,900 a day. This will increase his production by 10%. She/he learned how to use the computer to calculate the dollar value scheduled for any given day to meet goal.
  • The hygiene coordinator's goal is to schedule the hygienist to $1,200 each day, using the same techniques that the schedule coordinator learned.
  • Dr. Glade was instructed and coached to more effectively present recommended treatment to his patients for increased case acceptance.

Step 3: Recognize and celebrate each team member's victory. This is done every morning at the meeting. Review the previous day's goals for each employee and "congratulate" them on a job well done. Improved statistics repeatedly reveal the truth that employees work for recognition as well as a monetary reward.

After eight weeks of establishing their roadmap, putting gas in their tanks and arriving at their daily destinations, the practice production increased 13%... 3% more than expected. Is it because the consultant "motivated" Dr. Glade's team? No. Good employees are self-motivated when you follow the 3 steps outlined above.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Practice Enrichment Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email

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