2.10.12 Issue #518 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, Ph.D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
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Winning Against the Odds
Nancy Haller, Ph.D.

I saw the movie Moneyball this week, an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture. Based on the book by Michael Lewis, it's an inspiring story about Billy Beane, the 2002 Manager of the Oakland A's. The team didn't take the World Series Championship that year, but they won 103 games and set the record for the longest winning streak in American League Baseball history with 20 games. The movie is about how they took a cast of undervalued players and created such a winning team.

There are many dental team parallels in the movie, but the most striking (pun intended) revolves around the importance of hiring and developing talent. Hiring is an important investment. The A's accepted the fact that they were a small market team. Rather than compete with the extravagant budget of the New York Yankees, they identified undervalued talent and developed their investment. Leveraging your hiring dollars is more important than ever if you want to position your practice for future profitability. Certainly there are no sure-bet methods to guarantee an applicant will be a peak performer in your practice, but there are ways you can increase the probability of success.

Review Job Descriptions
In the film, we see Beane override his scouts to recruit players who can simply get on base, even with a walk. The goal was to “buy runs” not players. Good hires need to have a clear understanding of the job you want them to do. Not only what to do but how you want them to do it. Write out the specific duties and responsibilities of the position into a specific job description. Be concrete. For example, your business office manager needs to ‘pick up and sort mail.’ Contrast that description with the following: ‘Mail carrier arrives between 12 noon - 2pm. Check for mail by 1pm each day, and each hour thereafter until it is delivered.’ The more you spell out the exact details of how you want something to be done, the more likely the employee will meet your needs and expectations.

Standardize Your Interview
Billy Beane changed the way players were evaluated by emphasizing greater statistical analysis in the scouting of players. Sadly, most dental leaders rely primarily on interviews even though they are one of the most flawed parts of the hiring process.Be aware that there is tremendous personal bias in the interview - we gravitate to the people we like, rather than evaluating the person/job goodness of fit. Eliminate subjectivity as much as possible by structuring questions that are focused on the real needs of the job and your office environment.

Look Beyond the Resume
The 2002 Oakland A’s didn’t just happen. Beane knew that he needed to give his players the training to succeed. Teach your employees the skills and confidence they need to do their jobs. A leader’s “job” is to create a climate that enables employees to unleash their potential. If you give your people the right tools and the right environment, they can achieve wonders.

Be Innovative in your Selection Process
Beane realized that doing business the way they have always done business is not going to produce a different result. With the increasing importance on interpersonal effectiveness for job success, employers who add pre-employment testing will have a strategic advantage. Recognizing the importance of such a tool, McKenzie Management has developed online personality testing exclusively for dentistry. Partnering with the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT), the Employee Assessment Test strictly adheres to legal guidelines for employment testing. It assesses 12 essential personality traits so you know how closely your candidate or existing employee matches the profiles of peak performers in the dental industry. You have objective and scientific data to help you determine suitability for one of four dental positions. The process is simple, with electronic administration and immediate results sent directly to your office.

Smart employment practices will ensure a more successful and productive office, better patient service, and new referrals. Challenging the status quo of your hiring process takes time, but the investment will yield large dividends. The pay-off is higher caliber employees who work harder and stay longer…and this ultimately helps you to succeed on a competitive playing field.

Dr. Haller is available for consultation and coaching. If you would like to receive a sample report of the Employee Assessment Test, contact her at coach@mckenziemgmt.com

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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