4 Reasons Your Team Is Struggling
You might not be able to put your finger on it, but you know something isn’t right. Team members just aren’t as productive as you’d like them to be, and not only is morale down, your struggling team is killing your bottom line.
No matter how talented you are as a clinician or how hard you work, if your team members struggle, so will your practice. They’re the ones you depend on to help move your practice forward and who support you as you strive to meet your full potential. A weak team will do nothing but hold you back and keep you from achieving practice goals.
So how do you turn a struggling team into a thriving team? First you have to determine the problem. Here, I’ve put together four common challenges dental teams face, along with advice on how to overcome them.
1. They have no direction. Just because you hired an Office Manager with 10 years of experience at another practice doesn’t mean that new team member can excel on his or her own. If you want your team members to be successful, then you, the practice CEO, must provide them with the proper guidance.
What type of guidance, you ask? Let’s start with detailed job descriptions. These job descriptions should clearly outline tasks as well as performance measurements, leaving no doubt who is responsible for what.
And let’s not forget about proper, professional training. Team members will feel lost if you don’t take the time to train them when they’re new or when you bring new technology into the practice. With the right training, team members will be more confident in their roles and more productive, making them happy to come to work each day and enabling them to contribute to practice success.
2. They don’t get much feedback. While that initial training is important, it doesn’t end there. To keep employees happy and productive, I suggest you offer feedback. And I’m not just talking about annual performance reviews. I’m talking about regular feedback that will help team members grow in their roles.
Overhear your Treatment Coordinator schedule a patient who’s been putting off treatment for months? Let her know you appreciate her efforts and to keep it up. Realize your schedule is chaotic because your Scheduling Coordinator keeps double booking you? Take him aside and illustrate your frustration, then provide additional training to fix the problem. The point is, offer feedback – both positive and constructive – whenever you can. Not only will team members appreciate it, you’ll soon see their performance improve.
3. There’s conflict among team members. Most dentists would rather do just about anything than deal with staff conflict, but it’s really something you can’t ignore. If you notice tension among team members, deal with it right away before it boils out of control and really damages your practice.
Staff conflict not only tends to make team members miserable (and more likely to look for a new job), it hurts your production numbers. If team members are spending time gossiping about each other, they’re not focusing on how they can better serve the patient and help your practice grow.
The other problem with staff conflict? It could cost you patients. No one wants to come to a practice that’s full of tension and negative vibes, so when patients notice conflict (and trust me, they will) don’t be surprised if they make their next appointment at the practice down the street.
Look at staff conflict as an opportunity to improve your practice and strengthen your team. Rather than ignoring it, find out what the problem is and work with the team members involved to find a solution that not only makes everyone happy, but that also benefits the practice.
4. They’re not in the right roles. As tempting as it might be, don’t just hire the first person with an impressive resume when it’s time to fill an open position. Sure, you’ll get the dreaded hiring process over with quickly. But if you hire someone who isn’t right for the job, you’ll be back to where you started – after wasting a lot of time and money on a bad hire.
I suggest you put a hiring system in place to help ensure you hire the best people possible, not the first ones who come along.
You can’t build a successful dental practice on your own. You need a strong team behind you. If you need help strengthening your team, feel free to give me a call for more guidance.
Next week: Tips to improve your team and grow your bottom line
For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side
Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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