12.28.12 Issue #564 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Sally’s 7 Resolutions for a Successful New Year (Part 2)
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Take a deep breath and get ready to leap into 2013. Like every other New Year, this one brings at least 365 opportunities to make positive change. Are you ready to make the coming year your best yet? Read on. In last week’s article, I shared three of my Top 7 Resolutions for a Successful New Year: 1. Lose Weight, 2. Reduce Debt, and 3. Spend Less Time Working. Below are the remaining four on my list.

4. Learn Something New
Maximize your time, your talent, and your staff. Give your employees the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Provide necessary training to prepare your staff to perform procedures that they are legally allowed to carry out in your practice. If you do not have the confidence that your assistant or other team member can handle the additional responsibility, even with proper training, then s/he should be replaced. They will hold you and your team back in the new year, just as they did in the past year.

5. Help Others
Start with your staff, in the form of performance reviews and ongoing constructive feedback. Too often dental practices are staffed by employees who are simply trying to find their way, with little to no direction or understanding as to what course they are on. They just drift along, seriously in need of a compass. The compass I’m referring to doesn’t point North, South, East or West. Rather, it is a performance measurement program, and it guides everyone on the team in the same direction toward specific goals.

The vast majority of employees want to deliver a quality work product. They want to feel that they are part of a clearly directed team that not only enjoys working together, but also is committed to succeeding together. And they want to feel that they are rewarded based on their individual ability to achieve what is expected of them.

6. Get Organized
It’s a classic case of everyone is working hard but no one is working smart. The focus is on dealing with whatever problem has to be managed right now and not on addressing what caused that problem and what can be done to prevent it in the future. Doctor and team are in perpetual crisis mode, dealing with the same issues over and over, and it is all starting to feel a lot like burnout. The worst part, there is little to show for all the stress that you and your employees are under. Practice productivity is teetering precariously between the “sorely lacking” and “barely good enough.” Why? There’s no analyzing, no planning, and very little real communication taking place.

Tackle it in 24 hours. Schedule a two-hour meeting each month and bring a genuine commitment to making real productive change during the coming year. This is dedicated, uninterrupted time in which doctor and staff commit to continuously improving the practice and transforming an office locked in a seemingly perpetual state of crisis management or lackluster success into one of superior efficiency and productivity. Here’s how:

  • Create an agenda with input from the entire team.
  • Include all areas that impact the profitability/success of the practice, such as: number of new patients, recall patients, collections, treatment acceptance, production, accounts receivables, unscheduled time units for doctor and hygiene, uncollected insurance revenues over 60 days, overhead, etc.
  • Assign each member of the team to report on the area for which s/he is responsible.
  • Designate the amount of time you will spend discussing each issue and avoid getting bogged down on unrelated topics.
  • Encourage team members to come prepared to participate in the discussion.
  • Delegate responsibilities and establish deadlines for completing tasks identified during the staff meetings.
  • Share ideas during staff meetings for improving the work environment, the patient experience, and the efficiency of the practice.
  • Hold meetings at least once per month, more frequently if you are implementing several changes.

7. The final and perhaps most important resolution has three parts, but each is dependent on the other two: Peace of mind. Reduce your stress. And enjoy life more. If that sounds like the kind of resolution you want for the New Year, click HERE or call (877) 777-6151.

For more information on this topic, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

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