Holding productive team meetings is one of the best ways to make sure your most important practice tasks get done. For some larger practices, that means meeting regularly with your leadership team. Smaller practices might include every team member. Either way, the key to success is to run your meetings well.
We suggest holding meetings on a regular schedule, preferably weekly but no less frequently than every other week. Weekly works best because it puts you in better control of your practice results. They ensure you do not wait two weeks to learn about and address issues. Also, if you are traveling and your team needs to run a meeting without you, you will not go a month without attending a meeting.
Regular weekly meetings create a productive rhythm for your practice. Here is our seven-step plan for getting the most out of team meetings.
1. Opening Exercise (5 minutes)
Appoint a team leader to run your meetings. Make sure they start and end every meeting on time. Starting on time sets a standard of timeliness that extends beyond the meeting. Ending on time makes everyone focus during the meeting and avoids having them drag on.
Make sure someone takes notes at each meeting. Important items will be discussed and having to remember it all is impossible, especially with so much on our plates. Keep those notes in one place, such as a single notebook or shared Google Doc.
As the meeting opens, the meeting leader should ask for a volunteer to share one personal achievement and one professional achievement from the last week.
Personal achievements could include that someone ran a 5k and are really proud. A professional achievement could be that someone asked ten patients for reviews that earned six five-star reviews for the practice.
This is not a time for discussion, just announcements, but it is an important part of team building. Move around the room until everyone has shared a personal and professional achievement.
2. Scorecard Review (5 minutes)
Take five minutes to review and fill out your practice scorecard. Ask each team member to let you know if their scorecard items are on or off track.
If it is on track, great. Anything off track should be moved to the IDS portion of the meeting, where you will identify, discuss, and solve practice issues.
3. Rock Review (5 minutes)
In addition to practice goals, each team member should have their own rocks—or goals—to pursue. Take five minutes to review practice and individual rocks and find out what is on track and off track.
For example, one of the doctor’s rocks might be to create a dental savings plan. One of your team leaders’ rocks might be to get cancellations and no shows below 10%. Another could be to create a coffee table culture book for the practice.
Asking each team member about their rocks during your meeting helps build a culture of accountability and support among team members. If something is off track, put it on the agenda for the IDS part of the meeting, during which you all identify, discuss, and solve issues.
4. Customer and Employee Headlines (5 Minutes)
After each team member updates you on their rocks, take five minutes to discuss updates about patients or employees. These can be positive or negative, such as good Facebook or Google reviews or disgruntled patients. This is also a good time for team members to give kudos to colleagues who have gone above and beyond.
If something negative can be resolved quickly, do so. If it needs more discussion, add it to the IDS portion of the meeting.
5. Previous To-Do List Review (5 Minutes)
Take five minutes to discuss the status of to-do items from last meeting’s IDS session. Ask each team member whether they have completed their to-do items.
If so, check it off as complete. If they are on target, keep it in the to-do list for next week. If they are off target, move it to the IDS discussion for this week.
6. IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) (30–60 minutes)
This will take the majority of the meeting time. Ask each team member to take thirty to sixty seconds to write down the three most important issues they are facing.
When they are finished, have one team member identify their issues. Once the issue is identified, take a few minutes to discuss possible solutions. After a couple of minutes, choose a solution with which to move forward. Then put the tasks on a to-do list for your next meeting, and assign the tasks to the appropriate team member.
Go around the room until you identify, discuss, and solve each team member’s top three issues.
At some point during your IDS session, you the meeting will start to wind down. Give a ten-minute warning to ensure the meeting will end on time. Do the same with five minutes left, at which point the meeting will begin to conclude.
7. Review and Conclusion
Once you have completed your IDS session, recap your to-do checklist so everyone knows what they need to do. Read them out loud and make eye contact with the team member responsible for doing the task. Designate someone to deliver messages to people who could not make the meeting.
Finally, ask each team member to rate your meeting on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best. If someone rates it less than an eight, ask them to tell the group why so you can improve.
Are you ready to boost productivity in your practice?
If you want to make your practice more productive, high-impact productivity meetings might be the answer. Follow these seven steps, and you will be well on your way to a more productive office.
To learn more about boosting productivity in your practice, check out the leadership and tools tracks in Dental Profit Academy.
You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.