1.27.12 Issue #516 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Stop Making Excuses; Chart a New Course
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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“If my staff would get their act together, we would probably be okay.”  “My employees are gossipy.”  “They simply won’t do things the way I want them done.”  “Staff bring their personal problems to work.”…and the list goes on. Doctors that are not satisfied with the performance of their practices commonly blame their teams. It’s human nature to claim that others are responsible for our problems.

It is particularly true for those dentists that have been clobbered by the recession. Many would rather complain and blame others and external forces than address the real issues - which, more often than not, are of the doctor's own making. If that is your choice, then stop complaining and lie in the bed that you have made. If, however, you are ready to make some changes, see some improvements, and start enjoying walking into the office every day, consider if your own behaviors are the ones that need to be addressed. Read on.

You Look the Other Way
When “Carole” starts complaining that “Kathy” isn’t doing her job, you brush it under the rug. When Kathy is complaining that Carole is trying to boss her around, you dismiss them both with a wave of the hand and a nice, trite; “Let’s all just get along.”  Yet, there are no job descriptions to clearly spell out who is responsible for which duties, so when frustrations arise and critical details fall through the cracks, there’s no accountability - only finger pointing. When employees gossip about each other, the patients, or the doctor - thereby damaging the reputation of the practice - the behavior is ignored. There is no employee handbook that spells out the professional code of conduct in the practice to make it expressly clear that such activity is prohibited and grounds for disciplinary action.

You Aren’t Comfortable Passing Out Praise
“Nancy” is one of the best treatment coordinators you’ve ever seen. She can present treatment plans in great detail, answer all of the patients’ questions, and have them eager to schedule ASAP. You are very impressed, but you don’t want to say anything because you wouldn’t want Nancy to get the idea that maybe she’s so good she could make more money with the doctor down the street. So, you keep the kudos and positive comments to yourself. After all, you reason, she’s just doing her job the way it should be done.

You Give Away the Farm
Your brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews all are getting free or nearly free care in your practice. Yet, you are lamenting the fact that collections were way off last year. “Angie” can’t follow the established collection policy because you continue to randomly set your own, depending on who you want to give a “break” to on any given day. Doctor, your generosity is honorable, but it’s undermining your collections staff from keeping you and your practice solvent.

You Don’t Hold Staff Meetings
Instead, you hold lecture sessions. You put together the agenda and you report on each area. No one else is invited to report on what is happening in their area. You don’t like these so-called “staff meetings” because they are way too much work for you and the only reaction you get from the team is defensiveness, complaints, angry questions, and second guesses.

Your Salary Procedures Look More Like “Let’s Make a Deal”
Everyone on the team knows how it works. There are no performance reviews because those make you uncomfortable. There are no established policies for how raises will be determined or when they will be given because you prefer to have “flexibility.” So periodically it’s shakedown time. A staff member will request a meeting, present their request for a pay raise, offer something that looks like a well reasoned argument and you say you will look into it and get back to them. You don’t know how to say “no” so you agree to that “little” raise with virtually no understanding of how it will impact the budget and practice overhead. Go here for my Salary Review Form.

Are you tired of the frustrations? Are you ready to create the practice that you once envisioned? Do you want a team that you respect and respects you as well? Certainly, change is difficult. We all resist it. We all make excuses for why we can't achieve it. But when you've had enough, when continuing to do what you've always done brings you more frustration, more anxiety, and more financial troubles than you can handle, stop making excuses, CALL ME, 877-777-6151, and chart a new course.

Want more of me? Click here to visit my blog, The Lighter Side, for more Dental Practice Management info.

Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com. Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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