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  Sally McKenzie's
 Weekly Management e-Motivator

 4.11.03 Issue #59
Breaking Down Staff Cliques

Sally Mckenzie, CMC
McKenzie Management

     Dentistry, not mediation, is your specialty. But, if staff cliques are causing ongoing conflict, it’s time for some “faction action.”

While you may prefer to just look the other way in the face of division among the staff and tell yourself, “Oh this kind of thing happens in every practice”, you are setting yourself up for a long and unpleasant career. As the dentist, you are not only part of the team, you are the leader. Take charge! You set the tone and the

standards! If you don’t, the informal leaders emerge reinforcing a negative culture, building cliques, and undermining any semblance of a team.

Cliques often materialize from a basic lack of understanding and system breakdowns. An appreciation of diverse personalities, job descriptions, and maintaining basic office systems all can significantly reduce tensions among staff.

Take these steps to break down staff cliques and build a team that clicks:

Recognize that individual personalities can and do make a significant difference in how individuals react to one another. Invest a small amount of time and resources in personality testing. Staff members who understand the personalities of their colleagues, including the dentist, are much better prepared to work with them effectively. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter Test found in the book Please Understand Me, by David Keirsey is an excellent tool to use.

Clearly define job responsibilities. With job descriptions, team members understand their role on the team. Subsequently, they recognize who is responsible for which systems and who is accountable for those systems.

Hold morning meetings to address day-to-day issues that can cause rifts, such as where emergency patients will be scheduled both today and tomorrow.

Insist that clear information be shared among the team. For example, give front desk staff necessary details on time required for procedures and charges associated with those procedures.

Give employees regular feedback and establish clear standards for professional office behavior.

Provide each member the necessary training and tools to succeed in their role, and celebrate the success of both the team and as the individual players.

Interested in having Sally speak to your dental society or study club? Click here

Building On The Theory

Mark Dilatush
VP Professional Relations
McKenzie Management

Technology Tool Box

How An Ailing Business Foundation Can Cause “Digital Chaos”

        What is…a Business Foundation?
The business “foundation” of your dental practice is comprised of specific business systems and the results they generate. These business systems support (or not) your practice philosophy, goals, and vision. Think

of your business foundation much like a foundation of a home or office building. Without it, everything else will crumble or at best – be out of order.

There are several components to a business foundation – we call them business systems. There are twenty some business systems running in your practice every day. In your office, they may not have a name but they are there. Think of business “systems” as the components that make up a solid, strong foundation.

Patient Retention
Insurance (where applicable)

There are over 15 more business systems running in your practice. Here is the question of the day. When was the last time you spent any time or money on your business systems? If your business foundation and supporting systems are not supporting your philosophy and vision – what long term benefit should you expect from your technology dollar by accelerating the systems?

Some of you (my age and older) will remember a famous episode of “I Love Lucy”. It was the episode in the candy factory. Lucy was on a conveyor belt wrapping chocolate candies. Everything was perfectly fine as long as the conveyor belt and production machine were going slowly. As the candy producer and conveyor belt built speed, we laughed at how Lucy tried to keep up. Pieces of candy were hitting the floor, she was putting them in her pocket, she even ate a few pieces. When the candy producer and conveyor belt hit full steam – it was hilarious. Candy was flying everywhere!

Why this analogy?
Many of you have a dental practice that operates the same way, but it’s not quite as comical. The dentist is the candy producer, your whole team is the conveyor belt, and Lucy is your front desk personnel.

Do you get a sense that your practice can only produce as much as your business systems allow?
Good, that’s the point I was trying to make.

Next week we will identify a few business systems. I will explain common mistakes, myths, and offer some direction on how to make sure your business foundation is solid. With a solid foundation, applied technology will be very rewarding for everyone.

Interested in having Mark speak to your dental society or study club? Click here



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Comparative Baseline Analysis results in $252,000

Dr. Manchester in practice 20 years with 3 years in present location; $600K a year; focus is cosmetic dentistry.
Increase revenues by 30%; hire hygienist with 1/3 production in perio tx; 85% minimum case acceptance; Increase new patients by 47% to 25/month.
In-Office Analysis:
29% patient retention; $89K accounts receivable with 58% over 90 days; 86% collection ratio; case acceptance unknown; 3 days of hygiene neede/week.
Restructuring of recall system and establish accountabiltiy; change new patient protocol; specific scheduling goals; adding CareCredit™ to payment options, hire hygienist and train for perio tx.
Results within 90 days:
Patient retention is 75%; revenues increased by 42%; accounts receivable dropped $23K; case acceptance is 92% of treatment presented; 3 days of hygiene/week producing 4 x salary with 35% perio; new patients 32/month.
"You can't get there if you don't know where there is."

Is Your Practice Operating at Peak Performance?

"The information and the way it’s delivered was essential to my training. If used, there is no way it will not work. My understanding of the numbers and what they represent have really given my confidence a boost. I can track and monitor the systems now. Implementing everything I learned at The Center, will make my performance like night and day."

Leslie, Office Administrator


Advanced Business Training For:
· Dentists
· Office Managers
· Financial Coordinators
· Patient Coordinators
· Scheduling Coordinators
· Treatment Coordinators
· Hygiene Coordinators

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The Center for Dental Career Development
Advanced Business Education for Dental Professionals
737 Pearl St. Ste. 201
La Jolla, CA 92037

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