6 Things to Know About Your Millennial Employees
Millennials are the future of your practice, which is why it’s so important to take the time to understand them. When you do, they’ll not only be much happier in their role, they’ll also be more productive – leading to a more profitable dental practice.
1. They’re fast learners. Millennials grew up with technology, so they’re quick to embrace it. It doesn’t take long for them to grasp new concepts. They love to learn and expect to be provided with the training and tools they need to succeed. Remember they’re the most educated generation to enter the workplace. They’re always up for taking on new challenges and are excited by new opportunities.
2. They’re confident. Most Millennials were raised by doting, even overprotective, parents who always told them how wonderful and special they are. These employees grew up in a generation where everyone went home with a trophy, regardless of what place they came in. So while most are team players, they simply aren’t used to failing. Because of this Millennials tend to be self-assured, and in some cases overly confident. They just assume what they’ve done is right so they often don’t check their work. This could lead to problems, especially when they’re new.
3. Millennials rely on their smartphones. As you probably know, this generation has grown up using smartphones and spend a lot of time texting, posting on social media and even shopping. The problem is, many millennials think it’s OK to quickly text a friend or send out a Tweet in the middle of the work day – which could be a major source of contention with other team members.
Unless you tell them they can’t, Millennials will think nothing of looking at a YouTube video or making a quick Facebook post while sitting at the front desk. Not only will this irritate your older employees and look unprofessional to any patients in the waiting area, it also leads to concerns about cross-contamination.
I suggest you develop a cell phone policy so you don’t have to worry about this becoming an issue in your practice. Make sure employees understand they must keep their cell phones and other gadgets in their purse or in a locker during the work day.
Now some employees might protest, saying they need to have access to their cell phone in case there’s an emergency and their child’s school needs to reach them. To put these concerns to rest, tell employees to give out the office number as the emergency contact, and allow them to check their cell phones during quick breaks between patients.
4. They value a work/life balance. While Baby Boomers don’t think twice about working late or putting in a few hours over the weekend, Millennials typically would rather work their eight hour day and then enjoy their personal time. Sure, they want to be part of the team and contribute to the group, but it’s rare to see them working past 5 p.m.
Millennials want to enjoy life, and trust me, they won’t stick around if they’re not happy with the work environment for any reason. They’ll start looking for a new job and won’t hesitate to leave when they find something that seems like a better fit, whether they want more money or a more flexible schedule.
5. Millennials want feedback. This is true of everyone in your dental practice, but especially Millennials. Your team members, no matter their age, want to know what they’re doing right and where they can improve. Be sure to provide continual feedback, both positive and negative, and develop detailed job descriptions. Let employees know how performance will be measured. This will make your team more efficient and much more likely to excel in their roles, boosting practice production and your bottom line.
6. They want to be fairly compensated. Not only that, Millennials believe they should receive the same compensation as their more experienced co-workers. From the beginning make sure Millennials (as well as everyone else on your team) understand under what circumstances raises will be discussed and how promotions will be awarded.
If you want to create a thriving dental practice, you and your team members have to work together. That means overcoming the many generational differences that exist in the workplace. Trust me, it’s well worth the effort and will lead to a more efficient practice and a more robust bottom line.
Need more guidance on how to bridge the generation gap? Feel free to contact me. I’ll help you build a strong, cohesive team that will move your practice toward true success and profitability.
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
Scaling and Root Planing Appointments
I was recently asked the following question: Last week I had two patients scheduled for periodontal maintenance. When they came in, they both had several areas of pocketing with bleeding. I told them that if we didn’t see an improvement at their next visit, I would like to do scaling and root planing in those areas. They both agreed and I treatment planned as such. My question is, should we be waiting three months for their next visit to do the SRP, and if so, what about their periodontal maintenance visit and getting the rest of their mouth cleaned?
There are many different approaches you may want to take with this. You have already told the patients that if you don’t see an improvement in the numbers and bleeding, you want to do root planing in those areas. You will not be doing the root planing at the next visit, but you will be doing the periodontal maintenance appointment to determine the need for root planing, which will be done as soon as possible after the periodontal maintenance appointment.
Their next appointment should have been scheduled for a three-month periodontal maintenance appointment. At this time, you can do the full mouth probing and evaluate their bleeding not only during probing, but also during instrumentation. If there is still a lot of bleeding upon probing or during instrumentation, then the patient will return for the root planing that you have already given them a treatment plan for. This appointment may be as soon as the next day, then the next appointment after the root planing will be a three-month periodontal maintenance appointment.
If all the areas of concern have responded and there is no bleeding upon probing and minimal or no bleeding upon instrumentation, then you will have them back in three months for their next periodontal maintenance.
Some patients will step up their home care and get the results you have been looking for all along. They will stay on their three-month periodontal maintenance as long as their state of health stays where they are that day. It is recommended that you continuously evaluate not only your periodontal patients, but your healthy prophylactic patients as well, as you do not want to wait for there to be a bigger problem.
Another approach you can take with this type of patient – depending on the severity of their disease, personality type, trust level with the practice, and patient compliance – is to go ahead and treatment plan for the root planing like you did, but have them back immediately. This would apply to patients with deeper pockets, as waiting three more months may make quite a difference in their overall periodontal health. Also, if the patient has massive amounts of bleeding upon probing, it would be recommended to treatment plan for the root planing as soon as possible, as we know this is a sign that the disease is active.
Being aware of your patients verbal and particularly their non-verbal communication may make a difference in whether or not you hold off for three months, or move forward immediately. Regardless, the periodontal maintenance appointment will be completed that day and when they return, you will want to complete the periodontal maintenance appointment and have them return for the root planing.
It is not recommended to treatment plan according to insurance limitations. However, it is recommended to try and maximize the patient’s insurance benefits whenever possible so they are paying the least amount of money out-of-pocket. Many insurance companies will not pay for periodontal maintenance for a specified amount of time after root planing. So, if you do the root planing in three months and then do the periodontal maintenance, the result may be that the patient has to pay 100% out-of-pocket.
However, if you move forward with the periodontal maintenance, treat all of the areas and then have the patient back the next day, they may have a lot less out-of-pocket. You are not compromising quality of care, and the patient is happy. This also gives you another chance to evaluate the patient’s mouth to see if they still need root planing, and you will know the amount of time to schedule the patient because you know they will have a periodontal maintenance appointment.
The periodontal maintenance appointment is absolutely necessary. The teeth that were not treatment planned to be root planed still need to be taken care of in a timely manner to prevent them from digressing into an unhealthy periodontal state.
Interested in improving your hygiene department? Email email@example.com and ask us about our 1-Day Hygiene Training Program or call 877-777-6151
As a dentist, you are without a doubt the leader of the practice. One can read a number of articles and tips on how to be a great leader, but often what we remember are the inspirational sound bites or short phrases that resonate with us personally. Setting up your dental practice was certainly challenging, or will be challenging when you embark on the journey. Leading your practice to success is even harder! Given that any business is as good as the leader leading it, it is important you find inspiration that holds personal meaning, and use it to guide you to success. Here are 5 inspirational quotes on leadership and leading your dental practice that might help you.
“In the simplest terms, a leader is one who knows where he wants to go, and gets up and goes.” – John Erskine, author
A leader is one who has full faith in him or herself and in his or her decisions. This self-confidence inspires others to follow. It’s important to assess your decision carefully, but once you’ve made it, start executing. Remember, there are leaders with a “big L” and leaders with a “small l.” You are inherently the “big L” Leader, and it is one of your primary tasks to enable and encourage “small l” leadership among your office staff. The following quote further makes this point.
“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Hiring can be hard, but it is one of the most important decisions a dental practice owner can make. If you hire the right person for the right position, you will see your business improve in ways you had never even thought about. Alongside hiring someone great for the job, you have to have faith in your decision. Have them sufficiently trained and provide the tools and resources they need and get them aligned with your vision. Then, let them go and do their work. You will be amazed by the results, and you will see them come up with ideas you never would have yourself. Important here, though, is the necessity for you to be open to new ideas, even if they are not ones you had thought of, as the ideas from your frontline staff are often more closely connected to the patient needs than what you might think. Margaret Thatcher speaks to this well…
When it comes to your business, you need to keep your emotions to one side. Too often, we negate our employees’ ideas because we feel our ideas are better, and it becomes a source of pride for us. Too often as the leader, we let our own emotions get in the way of a good idea. And not only do our emotions inhibit our ability to hear important information, but they can also keep us pointed in a bad direction for the business, even though it might feel comfortable for you as the leader. The next quote explores keeping your head about you.
“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand.” – Colin Powell
Every business has its ups and downs and problems with which to deal. A great leader is always someone who can face these problems head on and keep a calm head on their shoulders so they can think of a simplified solution. Pay attention to the ideas and thoughts presented, and then make a clear decision with action steps. Then move forward from there. Sometimes to help weed out unhelpful or feeling-based thoughts, you can write down what is swirling around in your head. Once on paper, you may be able to easily see the path you need to pursue.
“There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.” – Klaus Balkenhol
The number one thing a great leader does is listen. When you are talking with your staff, don’t think about the next thing you are going to say. Focus on what they are saying, repeat it back to them and make them feel heard. If your people feel like they are genuinely heard, they will feel valued and they will trust you. Always remember to listen.
Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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