11.16.18 Issue #871 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Measuring Employee Performance is Critical to Your Success
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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It’s really pretty simple. If you and your team members don’t effectively perform your jobs, your practice won’t be nearly as successful as it could be. This leads to stress and frustration for everyone and keeps you from meeting your goals – that’s why it’s so important for dentists to establish performance measurements for their employees.

Performance measurements help keep everyone on task and make it clear what’s expected from each team member. They’re invaluable to practice success, yet many dentists are reluctant to put performance measurements in place. Instead, they convince themselves their team members are doing the best they can, and that they’d know right away if there was a serious problem. Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case.

If team members don’t have clear direction, details often end up slipping through the cracks. Tasks don’t get done and the practice suffers. When asked about these tasks, team members often respond with statements like “I didn’t know that was my job” or “I thought Susan was going to take care of that.” They begin to feel lost and frustrated, often leading to a drop in morale as well as an increase in staff conflict and turnover.

Use Performance Measurements to Improve Your Team
How exactly can you do that, you ask? It starts with performance management. To properly manage the performance of all 20 practice systems, you must measure the performance of each person who contributes to those systems.

The challenge lies in the disconnect that often exists between the performance the doctor wants, and the performance employees deliver. Doctors have certain expectations, but fail to communicate those expectations to their team. They think employees should intuitively know what to do, especially if they’ve worked in a dental practice before. Team members are left without proper guidance, making it difficult to efficiently perform their jobs, let alone actually excel. This leads to a lot of frustration on both sides and doesn’t do much to help move the practice forward.

The good news is most of the team members you’ve hired want to improve their performance. They want to do their part to achieve practice success and continue to grow professionally. But to do that, they need guidance from you, the practice CEO. That means creating job descriptions, providing proper training, offering continual feedback and developing performance measurements.

Implement a Performance Measurement Model that Works
It’s important to choose a model that encourages, rather than discourages, excellence. What do I mean by that? I’ve seen many practices base performance measurements only on areas that are easily quantifiable, such as collections ratio, production, new patients and accounts receivable. These same practices often establish group bonus plans where everyone gets the same bonus if certain practice goals are met, whether that’s specific production, collections or overhead figures. The problem? Such a system suggests every team member contributes equally toward every objective, which just isn’t the case. And when team members perceive that co-workers are getting bonuses that they didn’t do much of anything to earn, it often leads to resentment and conflict.

The point is this: The most successful performance measurement models are based on individual jobs. Every team member should have their own specific job-related goals that align with practice goals, giving them the direction they need to excel. With this model, your expectations are clear and team members know exactly what they need to do to meet them, as well as how they can earn a bonus or raise based on individual merit. 

Remember, while implementing performance measurements into your practice is important to your success, it isn’t something that will happen overnight. Give yourself some time to make it work. Keep at it and you’ll soon reap the benefits such a model can provide.

Have a Healthier, More Productive Practice
Once you have performance measurements in place, your practice will finally be on track to meet its full potential. Team members will understand their role in practice success and no longer feel lost and frustrated. They’ll know exactly what’s expected of them and what it takes to excel. Everyone will be happier to come to work each day, boosting morale and productivity. Your office will become more efficient and both you and your team members will have time to grow your practice and focus on what matters most: your patients.

Still not sure how to implement performance measurements into your practice? Give me a call at 877-777-6151. I’m happy to help.

Next week: Set performance expectations in your practice with these 3 steps

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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Belle DuCharme, CDPMA
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“Job Jumper” No Longer a Negative Comment on Resumes
By Belle DuCharme, CDPMA

Ask any dentist in a solo or small group private practice what challenges them the most, and you will most likely hear that it’s hiring staff. Because dentists have always valued loyalty, they have equated this to keeping long-term staff, some for decades, proudly displaying the feat like a medal. In the past it was routine to red-flag resumes if the applicant had moved from practice to practice with less than two years on the job. “Must be loyal” was posted along with other job qualifications on Craigslist and other job boards.

While this attribute is still desired today, there is a shift in the world that has produced a different type of worker. Workers now believe that one lacks motivation and goals if they stay in the same place – especially one with a ceiling or brick wall for creative and learning satisfaction.

Millennials, born between 1977-2000 (http://www.millennialmarketing.com/who-are-millennials/), don’t see a negative in moving from job to job if it means they will receive a better position, title or more salary and benefits. Loyalty to themselves and their goals supersedes that of their employer.

What’s a dentist to do when seeking workers from the age of about 40 and under? Give them what they are looking for – a chance to make your practice the best it can be with proper recognition and salary to satisfy. Give them goals and the tools to succeed.

Millennial workers see themselves more as team members than as employees. This can be great because the dental workplace operates with a team approach, but dental leadership may have to change their thinking in some ways. Instead of “orders from the top” explaining the rationale behind office procedures, sharing the reasons for policies and acknowledging excellent results can help reach this group and improve performance.

Give them flexibility in their work and from dental leadership. As a large percentage of the workforce moves from full-time, permanent work to gig-style employment, dental professionals are doing the same. The millennial generation finds more flexibility in working for themselves. Part-time and temp work are still valuable, but the way millennials find it has changed.

Millennials value being in charge of their own careers, and it’s changing the way dental staffing works. They’re leaving the temp agencies in favor of Cloud Dentistry, which provides them with an online profile and tools that allow flexibility in scheduling. This platform matches their comfort with online technology over that of say a staffing agency.

Dental workers who crave flexibility use cloud-based technology to find the ideal position. In fact, that same technology makes hiring more flexible for practices. Looking for help where the top workers are improves the hiring process.

Long term is passé and so is loyalty defined by years on the job. In contrast to the “lifer, company man, gold watch” attitudes of the baby boomers, many millennials see jobs as stepping stones in their careers, and they are honest about it. Trying to get a commitment to a long-time position is not recommended. Design the position in your practice as more of a career versus just a job, laying out specific values to staying with your practice.

Those that look at each job as a learning experience to build to a bigger goal may not feel attached to a single dental practice. They’ll stick around when they have a good thing, but a job as just a job is not worthy of loyalty.

This is where dentistry trends are in-line with the career goals of many millennials. Practices often staff according to their needs, hiring part-time or temporary staff to match demand. For many millennials, this is a much more realistic arrangement.

Work history for the new-age worker should include relevant acquired skills, community participation and relevant hobbies or interests that are in alignment with the practice philosophy. Practice culture/philosophy and mindfulness may be of importance to building loyalty that is relevant to staying long-term.

McKenzie Management understands the impact of generational influence in hiring patterns and is here to help navigate this sometimes highly volatile area of practice management.

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

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