2.12.16 Issue #727 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

4 Reasons You Should Build a Team of CEOs
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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If you want a successful, profitable practice, you can’t build it on your own. You need a strong team behind you that’s focused on helping your practice reach its full potential. That’s why I encourage you to start training your team members to think like CEOs. Make sure they understand how valuable they are and how their contributions can help move the practice forward. When your team members think like CEOs, they understand that they truly have a stake in the practice’s success, and they aren’t just another cog in the wheel. And that, of course, will lead to increased productivity and profits.

Now I’m not talking about giving up your place as the practice leader. You still need to provide your team members with the guidance and tools they need to succeed. Your job is to set them up to excel and empower them to take ownership of their systems. How, you ask? I suggest you start by posing important questions to your team members, such as:

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

These questions are designed to get your team members thinking like CEOs and considering what they can do to not only excel in their roles, but to also help grow the practice. It gives them the opportunity to shine, and when your team members shine, so does your practice.

Ready to start building that team of CEOs? I’ve put together four reasons you should create a team of leaders and the benefits that come when you do.

1. They take ownership of their systems. If you train your team members to think like CEOs and to understand how their systems work, they’ll be able to spot and correct small problems before they become big problems. Properly trained employees who truly know their systems can tackle issues as they come up, saving you time, money and frustration.

2. Your team members are more engaged. When you empower your employees to take ownership of their systems, they become excited about their jobs and more productive. Instead of counting the hours until it’s time to go home, these energized team members look for better ways to carry out their responsibilities, as well as ways to improve practice efficiencies, enhance customer service and reduce costs. This leads to a more effective team poised to help you achieve real results, and that means increased productivity and a more robust bottom line.

3. Your practice will experience less turnover. When employees are happy and engaged, they’re much more likely to stay loyal to your practice. But frustrated, unhappy employees spend more time looking to find their next job than actively trying to find solutions to practice problems. These lost, distracted employees just bring you and the rest of the team down, as well as cost you money.

Remember, a stable team is one of the cornerstones of a profitable practice. Creating a team of CEOs will keep your employees engaged in their jobs and happy to come to work each day. They’ll take ownership of their systems and feel connected to the practice. They won’t even think about looking for opportunities at the practice down the street; instead, they’ll focus on helping your practice succeed.

4. You’ll have more time with your patients. You can’t do it all on your own. While you’re the leader of the practice and should provide your team members with guidance, you should also be able to trust them to effectively perform the various responsibilities outlined in their job descriptions.

When your employees start thinking like CEOs, they’ll understand the importance of taking ownership of their systems and doing their part to help the practice thrive. They’ll excel in their roles and you’ll know tasks are getting done. This gives you more time to focus on your patients rather than worrying about what your team members are doing, enabling you to provide the best care possible.

Empowering your team to think like practice owners will help you create a more efficient, more productive practice. Your employees will be happier and more engaged, and they’ll finally take ownership of their systems. This will lead to a more stable team that’s prepared to work together toward practice goals, and ultimately a healthier bottom line. 

Not sure how to train your employees to think like CEOs? That’s where I come in. Contact me and I’ll help get you started.

Next week: 3 tough questions to ask your team of CEOs 

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
Interested in having McKenzie Management Seminars speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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Why Do Patients Leave your Practice?
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Dear Belle,
I have just gone over the recall lists and inactive patient lists and discovered that several patients have not returned to my practice. Should we call them? I would like to know the reasons they are gone.

Better get out the polygraph device, because the answers you get from surveys will trigger a reality check. In today’s social media world where we visit websites before we use a service – whether it’s a restaurant, hotel, dog groomer or dentist – we want to read about an honest yet positive experience.

Market researchers have discovered that the specific question that is asked will determine whether you get an honest answer or not. If the question(s) puts the respondent at risk for negative consequence or has no benefit to them to answer truthfully, there won’t be a candid reply.

People often rate questions in surveys or reviews as “Safe”, “Moderate Risk” or “No, I won’t answer that!” This is especially true if they want to continue having a relationship with the business being reviewed. Even if they give an honest appraisal of how they were treated in the dental practice, many wonder if it will actually change anything or if they will just be seen as a “trouble maker” or difficult to please.

So how do you know why patients really leave your office? If you called them would you get a politically correct reply instead of the truth? Take the patient who has been coming for years and never had a complaint or issue with anything, yet is a year overdue for recall. A courtesy call would be recommended with the following script:

(Office) Hello, this is Rae from Dr. J. Bee Dental calling for John Smith?
(Patient) This is John.
(O) Hi John, the reason I am calling is to schedule an appointment for you to see Dr. J. Bee for an exam and a teeth cleaning since it has been a year from your last appointment and we would love to see you. I have an appointment Thursday at 2:00, would you be available then?
(P) Well, I have switched to another dentist.
(O)  I am happy that you are continuing your care but sorry to hear that you aren’t coming to see us. Was there a reason that you switched so I can tell Dr. J. Bee?
(P) No. I just wanted to try my friend’s dentist.
(O)  I see, does that dentist offer something special that we don’t?
(P) Well, yes, it is easier to get the appointment time I need there.
(O)  If I could get you the same appointment time, would you return to our office?
(P)  I don’t think so, I have already started there and I am happy but thanks anyway.
(O)  If you could be so kind as to tell me how we might improve our services, I will give that information to the doctor.
(P) I would rather not say...Or the patient may decide to tell you what is really on their mind.

Tracking patient retention is one of the most important practice management tools you can use. An anonymous survey sent from a safe email server may change the response because most people are more apt to be honest if they can be anonymous. It is important to know whether your practice is growing, stagnant or in decline. Patient retention numbers are indicators as to a change in practice systems or in the business environment of the practice. If there are negative influences these will impact whether patients stay or leave your practice.

The simplest explanation of calculating patient retention is to simply divide the total number of patients seen on recall by the total number of patients due to be seen.
The first time you calculate and begin to track your patient retention (month over month), don’t get upset by whatever the calculation brings. After all, you didn’t know the number yesterday. Over time, as you track it each month on a spreadsheet, an average patient retention will come forth. Add up the total percentages of the last six months and divide by six to get an average patient retention number.

If you are seeing signs of poor patient retention or want to know where and what to look at, please don’t hesitate to call McKenzie Management today for help with this important practice concern.

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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Kelly Lennier
Senior Consultant
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Dealing with a Bad Hire
By Kelly Lennier, Senior Consultant

You recently lost your best employee, Susan. She’s moving out of state with her husband, so after six years of depending on her and knowing you could trust her to do her job, you’re going to have to find a new dental assistant.

If you’re like most dentists, you hate the thought of hiring a new employee and want to get it over with as quickly as possible. You’re nervous you won’t be able to find anyone nearly as good as Susan, but you also don’t have a lot of time to waste looking. She leaves in a mere two weeks, and you don’t know what you’re going to do without her.

What do most dentists do in this situation? They hire the first person who seems qualified. One dazzling resume comes in and they convince themselves this is it, they’ve found their next team member.

Unfortunately, this often leads to disaster. Let’s take the case of Cindy. She has an impressive resume and plenty of experience. She’s lived in the area for 10 years and has worked in several dental offices. So you give her a call and wait for her to get back to you.

You couldn’t be happier when Cindy finally does call back – you know she’s perfect for the job. You immediately invite her in for an interview and she accepts. The meeting goes well. So well, in fact, you hire Cindy on the spot. You’re so convinced she’s the one that you don’t want to bother with any other candidates – or confirming her previous employment or checking references for that matter. You ask her a few quick questions and tell her she has the job.

The Trouble Begins
You’re relieved the dreaded hiring process is over, but the fact is, your problems have just begun. She’s slated to start at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, but by 7:45 a.m. there’s still no Cindy. She finally arrives 30 minutes late and blames it on unexpected traffic. You shrug it off and tell her you understand. You then tell yourself you’re sure it won’t happen again and go about your day.

Oh, but it does happen again and your dream hire soon turns into a nightmare. In fact, after just six months, she’s been late 10 times and has taken five days off. If that isn’t bad enough, Cindy doesn’t know how to properly take x-rays and the fact that she’s left-handed, an important detail you forgot to ask about in your hurry to hire her, makes her chairside assisting awkward for you.

How it Affects the Team
Your other employees are not only concerned that Cindy isn’t right for the job, they’re also pretty annoyed by her behavior. After all, they always arrive on time and take pride in their work. They express their concerns to you, and you listen, but nothing changes. Cindy continues to be a train wreck.

How to Hire the Best As much as you try to avoid the problem and hope Cindy finally gets it together, the rest of the team is fed up. Your hygienist, a loyal employee who has been with you for seven years, tells you if Cindy stays, she plans to go. She even gives you a list of reasons Cindy just isn’t working out. They include:

- She’s often late and always has an excuse.
- She isn’t a team player. She never helps others and tends to disappear during the day, usually with her cell phone in hand.
- The rest of the team just can’t depend on her. She’s only been there six months and has already missed several days of work.
- She asks others to take x-rays for her because hers never turn out right.
- She’s rude to other team members and is often sarcastic.
- She’s not focused on offering patients friendly, top-notch customer service. A few patients have even complained about her.

Time to Let Go
Turns out, Cindy is nothing like your star employee, Susan, who was always willing to help others and who was maybe late twice in six years. You finally admit you made a mistake and dismiss Cindy. Now you’re back where you started, except you’ve just experienced the pain and suffering a bad hire brings. Holding on to Cindy has brought down the rest of your team, hurt your productivity and cost you more money than you care to admit.

The Lesson
This scenario doesn’t have to play out in your practice. If it’s happening to you right now, don’t be afraid to let your “Cindy” go. There are plenty of great employees out there who want to help your practice succeed. Don’t waste time on someone who does nothing but hurt your practice.

And remember, there are steps you can take to avoid making a bad hire. Do your homework. Look for red flags on resumes, such as multiple employers within a short period of time and large employment gaps. Conduct phone screenings as well as face-to-face interviews. Give all potential new employees personality and ability tests, and ask team members to take them out to lunch before you extend an offer. Ask your team members how they feel about potential new hires and listen to their feedback.

This will all help ensure you hire the right person from the start – saving you the wasted time, frustration and lost revenues that come with a bad hire.

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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