6.17.16 Issue #745 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Is Stress Holding Your Practice Back?
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Running a dental practice sure isn’t easy. Not only are you responsible for diagnosing and treating patients, you also must deal with human resource issues, staff training, and all the business aspects of owning a practice that you’d rather not think about. The truth is, while you love your job, it can be downright stressful at times. Stressful and frustrating. Many dentists who turn to me for help are talented clinicians, yet feel like they should be more successful – whether that means bringing in more money, having more free time or simply reducing stress.

No matter what success means to you, I can help you reach your goals. Here’s a look at what might be holding your practice back from true success and profitability, and what changes you can make to finally get there.

You’re not focusing on the business side of owning a practice
I know you probably didn’t become a dentist because you always dreamed of becoming a business owner, but if you want to achieve success and reduce your stress level, you have to embrace your role as practice CEO. Unfortunately, most dentists don’t have adequate knowledge of the business side of dentistry. This leads to frustration with their teams, their practices and even their patients.

These dentists are overextended and don’t have much time to educate themselves. They know the practice needs help, so they hire experienced team members and expect them to get the practice back on track. The problem? They don’t give these team members any direction, so the practice continues to suffer.

Remember, team members aren’t mind readers. Providing guidance will improve their performance, reduce your stress and lead to greater success.

You’re too involved in the details
While some dentists want nothing to do with the business side of owning a practice, others feel like they need to be involved in every little detail. They have difficulty trusting others, and struggle to let team members take ownership of their practice systems. These dentists feel the need to control everything, leading to more stress and frustration for themselves and their team members.

Does this describe you? If the answer is yes, I suggest you give up control and trust your team members to do their jobs. Ask them for updates so you still know what’s going on, but don’t feel like you need to be involved in every minute detail. This might be difficult at first, but reducing the number of tasks you have to perform or check on each day will lower your stress and make your practice more productive. In addition, you’ll have more time to do what you love: treat patients. It will also make your team members feel more empowered, which will improve their performance and grow your bottom line.

You’re constantly hiring
Not only is constant turnover stressful for you and your team members, it hurts your practice. If this is a problem in your office, it’s important to figure out why. Many dentists expect employees to instinctively know how to do their jobs, and offer very little, if any, direction. Without direction, team members feel lost and unfulfilled, so they start looking for jobs at the practice down the street. Or maybe team members aren’t living up to expectations and you have to let them go. Again, that often comes back to insufficient training and lack of direction. Provide both and you’ll find team members are more loyal and more productive.

How to turn it around
Ready to alleviate stress and grow your practice? I suggest you start by surrounding yourself with a team of trusted advisors to help you improve any struggling systems. Create specific systems of checks and balances, then delegate responsibilities to well-trained employees who are confident in their skills and know what it takes to excel. Encourage employees to take ownership of their systems and start thinking like CEOs. Trust me, when you do, you’ll see these systems begin to flourish.

It’s also important to keep a stable team. Your team members should be well trained, productive, and happy to come to work each day. Provide them with job descriptions and performance measurements so they know exactly what’s expected of them. They’ll perform at a higher level, helping your practice reach true success and profitability. Team members will also come to work more energized, and will constantly look for more efficient ways to complete their tasks. This will make a huge difference in how your practice operates, and that means less stress and more profits.

Success means different things to different dentists. No matter what your definition of success is, I can help you get there. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way, but if you need more guidance don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m happy to help.

Next week, 8 tips for a more successful practice

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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