6.26.15 Issue #694 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Want a Stronger Team? Follow These Tips
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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You know every person on your team has the potential to make great contributions to your practice. They’re all intelligent, hardworking people, which is why you hired them in the first place. But for some reason they’re just not meeting your expectations, and instead of helping you succeed, they’re holding your practice back from meeting its full potential.

To build a successful dental practice, you have to surround yourself with strong, motivated team members. If you don’t, I guarantee you your practice will go nowhere fast. But what can you do if your team just isn’t cutting it? Here are a few tips designed to help you build a stronger team, which will increase production numbers and boost your bottom line.

Offer Guidance
If your team members seem lost, it might be because you haven’t given them much direction. It’s time to take ownership of your role as practice CEO, and provide team members with the guidance they need to excel.

How? Start by creating detailed job descriptions that outline your expectations. Offer regular feedback, both positive and negative, and consider conducting performance reviews to help keep team members on the right track.

Hire the Right People
Most dentists cringe at the thought of hiring new employees, and want to get through the process as quickly as possible. Problem is, this often leads to hiring the wrong people, which costs your practice big.
When you need to hire a new team member, take the time to do it right. Don’t just hire the first person who seems qualified and hope it all works out, because chances are it won’t. Hiring someone who isn’t a good fit will do nothing but bring the rest of your team down, leading to frustration and a lot of wasted time and money.

Don’t Give Out Raises No Matter What
You want to keep your employees happy, so you give them what you consider a cost of living adjustment every year. And if Tara the Patient Coordinator tells you how much just a small bump in pay would help her make ends meet, you’re happy to give it to her, even though you know she hasn’t exactly been meeting performance expectations.

Even if you’re only raising their pay 5% each time, these small increases start to really add up, sending your overhead costs soaring. Not only that, guaranteed raises don’t exactly give your team members much motivation to improve, do they? The way they see it, if you’re giving them a raise they must be doing something right. Why should they work any harder?

Instead of giving out raises just because, explain to your team members when raises can be discussed and under what conditions they will be given. Set clear expectations and goals so they know exactly what it takes to earn more money, and you’ll soon see more motivated employees who do what it takes to meet or even exceed your expectations.

Squash Staff Conflict Before it gets Out of Hand
I know most dentists would rather not deal with staff conflict, but ignoring it will only damage your practice. As soon as you notice a problem between team members, talk with them about the situation and come up with a solution together.

Remember you don’t have to view staff conflict as a negative. Look at it as an opportunity to improve your practice. Not convinced? Let’s say your hygienist is frustrated because Karen the Scheduling Coordinator isn’t scheduling her to meet production goals. When you talk to Karen, you realize she didn’t know that was an expectation. Now that you’ve identified the problem, you can provide Karen with the training and tools she needs to properly fill out the schedule, making your hygienist happy while also improving production numbers and practice revenues.

Provide Proper Training
If you don’t properly train your team members, you can’t expect them to excel in their roles. Employees will not only be more effective, they’ll be happier and more confident in their skills. Trust me, once you invest in professional staff training you’ll see practice efficiencies improve and production numbers rise, making it well worth any time and money you spend.

Know When to Let Go
As much as you hate to do it, sometimes you just have to let team members go if they’re not working out. If you’ve provided the proper training and guidance and a team member still isn’t performing, it might be time to consider letting that employee go.

Your team can make or break your practice. Follow these tips and you’ll create a strong, dedicated team that’s ready to help your practice reach true success and profitability.

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

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
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