8.5.11 Issue #491 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Self-Sabotage Doesn't Make for a Successful Career
by Sally McKenzie CEO

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That’s it. You’ve had it. Enough is enough. You are not going to put up with this any longer. As soon as you can, you are going to march in and tell the doctor exactly what you think of this place and the “crew” running it… And so begins your not-so-warm welcome to the world of self-sabotage.

mailto:info@mckenziemgmt.com We see it time and again. Employee frustration and stress can reach the point where an individual or an entire team has a major blow-up. In many cases, the lack of effective practice systems creates an environment in which problems perpetuate and conflicts fester. Nonetheless, there are those whose behaviors continually have them at odds with others, on the outs with the boss, and often looking for the next job a mere couple of months after starting the one they are in.

So the next time you are ready to let your co-workers or your boss “have it” maybe you should take a good close look in the mirror and consider what have you done to create the situation. Conduct what I call an inventory of self-sabotaging behaviors. Here are my top 4.

#1: Toxic Thinking and Toxic Behaviors
You are the only one who “gets it”- everyone else is clueless. If you were in charge, things would most certainly be different because the backstabbing, incompetent, malicious coworkers would be gone. You’ll show them. You’ll just fire off one of your nasty emails, or you’ll give them the silent treatment, or you will purposefully create some problem or another to make things difficult. Here’s the 411 - the issue isn’t the doctor or the others on staff. Look in the mirror; the problem is you and your toxic thinking and behaviors. You are wallowing in your own venomous wasted energy. Eventually, you will have to change jobs or change your behaviors.

#2: Putting Yourself Before the Patients and the Practice
News flash: The doctor and the practice are not there to serve you. You are there to serve the practice and the patients. Thinking that you don’t have to be polite, courteous, or friendly because you are having a bad day, or you were up all night with a small child, or you were out too late tying it on with your friends is one more in the line of many self-sabotaging behaviors. No one is going to keep you around for long or shower you with praise and raises until you demonstrate that you are capable of doing the job well and with a smile on your face, regardless of how you may be feeling at that particular moment.

#3: Always Having to Prove that You Are Right
Those who have to win at all costs and who repeatedly insist upon being right (often at the expense of other’s contributions and viewpoints) are workplace bullies whose insecurities interfere with the doctor’s ability to move forward on difficult decisions. These are the people who refuse to change the way they do things, even if it will better the practice. These people aren’t speed bumps on the road to success, they are massive barriers that can derail progress indefinitely. At some point, even if it takes a crane, these obstructions need to be removed or they too need to get on the road to positive change. 

#4: Believing that You Are Entitled to Something
“I’ve been here X amount of time and I deserve a raise, or more time off, or the right to stroll in 10 minutes late, maybe a longer lunch, to knock off 15 minutes early…” and the list goes on. We hear it time and again, employees believe that they are entitled to any number of perks and special treatments merely because they have marked another hour, day, week, month, or year on the calendar. It is another in the self-sabotaging behaviors because it is a distraction from what you are really entitled to, and that is the opportunity to do your best for the practice, to help the business grow and succeed. Once you are well on your way to achieving that, then you can discuss how you might earn some of the special perks that go along with being not just an average employee but an exceptional contributor to the team as a whole, which is what I will talk about next week - From Saboteur to Superstar - making sure your efforts get noticed and appropriately rewarded in the practice.

Want more of me? Click here to visit my blog, The Lighter Side, for more Dental Practice Management info.

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

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Nancy Caudill
Senior Consultant
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How to Achieve Your Collection Goals for the Year
By Nancy Caudill, Senior Consultant McKenzie Management

Would you like to increase your production? Of course you would. One of many systems that the consultants here at McKenzie Management advocate is the necessity of having production goals. Let’s take a short walk through the process of determining how to establish your practice goals.

There is more than one approach to setting an annual goal: keeping your team’s gross wages within the normal range of 19-22% of net collections, an overall 10-15% increase or simply some dollar amount that “feels good” to you. Whatever theory you apply is fine, always assuming first that your team salaries are in line.

Step 1- Determine your annual collection goal (the amount of revenue that you would like to see the practice generate).

Step 2 - Review your adjustments report to see how much you wrote off of your production last year, such as bad debt, insurance adjustments, cash courtesies. This percentage of your total production must be factored into your collections goal in order to determine your production goal.

Step 3 - Here is the formula: collection goal / inverted adjustment % = gross production goal.

Example: collection goal is $1,000,000. Your production adjustments last year were 5%.  $1,000,000 / 95% = $1,052,632 for your new production goal. I know that you may be thinking, why don’t you just add $50,000 to the collection goal? Because $1,050,000 - 5% = $997,500 and not $1,000,000. I don’t want you to short yourself $2,500!

Monthly vs. Daily Goals
Now, at this point you can take the easy road and simply divide your new goal by 12 = $87,719 and declare this your monthly production goal and tell everyone in your office to go out and “eat the elephant” and make the monthly goal.

Here are the potholes relative to this approach:

  1. All the providers just “assume” that the other is producing above and beyond their goals so they don’t have to worry about it.
  2. They don’t know what their specific goal is anyway so we will just wait and see how it all shakes out at the end of the month.
  3. No one in the office worries about making the monthly goal until the last week, and then it is too late!

 Here is a systematic and organized method of achieving your annual goal:

Step 4 - You must determine the annual hygiene goal first. There are basic guidelines such as 3x their daily salary or 1/3 of the practice production. It can also vary depending on the practice. Let’s keep it simple here and base it on their daily salary x3. Daily salary for each hygienist is $250/day x 3 = $750/day as their goal. The adjustments were already factored in, so this is the amount they should produce daily. Multiply this amount by the # of hygiene days you have per year. 

This means that if you work 200 days and you have 2 hygienists that work the same days as you, then you have 400 days of hygiene. So 400 x $750 = $300,000 for the hygiene department goal.

Step 5 - Your goal! Your new production goal is $1,052,632 - the hygiene goal of $300,000 = $752,632 since you are the boss and you must produce the rest! If you want to work smarter and not harder, you increase your hygiene goal and that will reduce your goal!

If you are working 200 days for the year, $752,632 / 200 days = $3,763 is your daily goal.

Step 6 - Every morning at your morning meeting, review the production for each provider for the previous day to see if everyone met their daily goals. Celebrate if you did, and discuss what could have been done differently in order to meet the goals.

At the same meeting, also review everyone’s schedule for the day to see if they are on track to make goal. If not, determine why. Also make plans for tomorrow if there is time.

Schedule Coordinators vs. “Hole Fillers”
It is important and necessary to empower your Hygiene/Schedule Coordinator to be responsible for always looking to schedule the day to the daily goal for EACH provider, opposed to a monthly or daily goal that includes everyone. This is a team effort and it takes everyone working together to reach daily goals.

It is fine for your hygienists to schedule their own appointments, as long as they also understand the importance of scheduling their day to goal. I can guarantee that if they have a day of 8-10 patients and only 2-3 need radiographs and there are no scaling and root planing patients, they will NOT make goal. This is why allowing the computer software to simply go out 6 months + 1 day is the kiss of death to a hygiene schedule. If they make goal today, they will not make goal 6 months from now with the same patients.

Reaching Annual Goals as a Team - One Day at a Time
Don’t try to eat the elephant in one big bite. You and your team will never get your mouth open wide enough to get it all in. It is much more methodical to be like the turtle - slow and steady every day to reach your monthly goal, and in turn, your annual goal.

Now, go celebrate each day when you and your team reach your daily goals.

If you would like more information on how McKenzie's Consulting Coaching Programs can help you IMPLEMENT proven strategies, email info@mckenziemgmt.com.

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Belle DuCharme CDPMA
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Keeping Pace with Communication Styles
Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

With the many generations that frequent the dental office, the modes of communication need to be varied to suit their requests. Instead of face-to-face or phone conversations as the main mode of communication, we now have the younger generations and the not so young that prefer texting or email. Email is not limited to the PC or the laptop, it is now instant on the smart phones, Droids, iPhones etc. Land-line phones are declining in usage and more and more patients are requesting that we contact them by cell phone or email/texting.

HygieneIn the past, the telephone has been the standard way that patients have contacted dental offices to ask questions about insurance, financing and services offered. Now, however, this same information and more can be found on the website without speaking to anyone. Forms can be filled out online and appointments scheduled without speaking to the scheduling coordinator. All the more reason to have the best website design available, with continually updated and enhanced information! Don’t have a website? Then you will not be considered as technically savvy or as skilled as the dentist who does have a well designed website.

“We believe in a more personal approach to our patients” says Betty, who has worked in the same office for twenty some years and calls all of the patients to confirm their appointments. This is great for some, but not for all. Email and text are considered personal to those who receive this communication, and since the patients are the ones requesting email communication, it is important to give patients what they want despite personal opinion.

Email communication lacks the emotion of vocal tone, but often emotion is read into email. All caps in text is considered “shouting.” Short, terse sentences can be considered as “I don’t have the time to talk to you right now.” Phone etiquette dictates that we take the time to listen to patients and connect on a personable level. Applying this concept to email is just as important, and it often takes more time to think about what you want to say in text versus the easier flow of conversation on the phone.

 Email is permanent and can be read over and over, but the details of conversation are often blurred as we remember only about 20% of what we hear. Using proper email etiquette is as important as learning how to correctly answer the phone.  Make sure words are spelled correctly and that you are writing complete sentences and not using confusing abbreviations. Don’t exchange funny, political or religious information - even though it may seem harmless. Every mode of communication must represent the professional image of the practice.

The information highway is to our advantage, but also can be the highway of truths and falsehoods. Sites that are designed for people to post reviews of dental practices are great if you are surveyed in a positive light. However, if you weren’t at the top of your game for one day, an unfavorable review could be posted for thousands to see or the system can be manipulated so that these reviews come up first when your name is placed in a search engine. One dentist reported to me that it took her three weeks to get an unfavorable review off the internet.

Monitoring these communication styles is more time consuming, because in addition to checking phone messages we are checking email messages and we may have a program running that does internal marketing and appointment confirming that we need to check also. Most people are not inclined to give you their email address in the dental office, so remembering to ask for it is another task on our daily list.

Facebook is the place to be these days for personal and business communications.  More and more people sign up daily to keep up with friends, family and business connections. Being on Facebook is important to a dental practice as it adds a friendly, approachable feel to the practice and again, it is to be monitored in a professional manner. With so many ways to stay connected, there isn’t an acceptable excuse to not be accessible to your patients and people who are researching to find the dental practice that meets their needs.

Need help designing a website and building marketing tools for your exceptional practice? Contact McKenzie Management’s marketing department today at 1-877-777-6151

If you would like more information on McKenzie Management’sTraining Programs  to improve the performance of your team, email training@mckenziemgmt.com

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