2.17.17 Issue #780 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Tips to Improve Your Team and Grow Your Bottom Line
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Building a successful dental practice goes way beyond just perfecting your clinical skills. It’s also about relationships, whether those relationships are with your patients or your team members. Unfortunately, if your team is struggling, those important relationships are likely strained – keeping everyone from meeting his/her full potential.

Practices who have weak teams also deal with significant practice inefficiencies, mismanagement, endless frustrations and low team morale. And of course, all these problems eat into your productivity and bottom line.

Taking steps to make your team stronger can help turn this around. Motivated team members will be happy to come to work each day, doing their part to move the practice forward. Revenues will begin to rise and patients will start to notice the difference, making them more likely to stay loyal to your practice and even to refer.

So what can you do to strengthen your team? I’ve put together a few tips to help get you started.

Give Them a Reason to Excel
If you give out raises every year like clockwork or just about every time an employee asks, I’m willing to bet your team members aren’t very motivated to make any changes. In their minds, they must be doing something right, so they see no need to improve performance.

Instead of giving out raises just because, I suggest you base bumps in pay on performance measurements. Make it clear under what circumstances raises will be given and what each team member needs to do to earn them. Sit down with employees to talk about practice goals and individual goals, and provide regular feedback so they know how they’re doing. Trust me, your team members will be much more driven to improve performance, and they’ll probably even find their jobs more rewarding.

Build a Team of CEOs
How, you ask? It’s simple. I suggest you start training your team members to think like CEOs. This means making sure they understand what their contributions mean to practice success. When they think like CEOs, they’ll take more ownership of their systems and won’t feel like just another cog in the wheel. Don’t give up your place as the practice leader, but set your team members up to excel. And you can start by asking these questions: 

- What would you do if you were me?
- What steps would you take to help patients say yes to treatment?
- How can the practice provide better customer service?
- What processes would you adjust to help the practice save money?
- How can we enhance patient care?

Take their answers seriously and show that you value their opinion. This will go a long way in boosting confidence, while also giving you valuable insight that can be used to make practice improvements.

Provide Proper Training
This is important. It doesn’t matter how long a new team member has worked in the dental industry; without proper training that team member will be lost. Many dentists don’t like to “waste” time on training, but believe me it’s anything but a waste. Training will save you a lot of time and frustration down the road, making it well worth the effort.

And don’t forget to provide training when you incorporate new technology into your practice. Team members will be more confident in their roles and more productive, boosting your bottom line.

Create Detailed Job Descriptions
Of course I can’t forget about job descriptions. Job descriptions give team members a road map to success, outlining their responsibilities along with your expectations. If you use them from the beginning, they can also help ensure you hire the right person for the job – another time and money saver that will mean good things for your bottom line.

Keep Team Members Happy
This means providing a positive, comfortable working environment where everyone feels like an important part of the team. Make sure team members know you want to hear their views on how to make the practice better and that they can come to you if there’s ever a problem.

This type of communication will help prevent conflict, but keep in mind it can’t be avoided completely. When it does happen, work with the employees involved to come up with a solution as soon as possible. As much as you might want to, never ignore conflict. If you do, tensions will build, lowering productivity and likely costing you patients.

Know When It Isn’t Right
As much as you hate to do it, sometimes you just have to let team members go. Keeping them on board will only bring team morale down while also costing you money. If you’ve provided the proper training and guidance and a team member still isn’t performing, it might be time to consider parting ways with that employee.

A strong team will lead to a profitable practice. Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to developing a solid team that will help you grow your 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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