Sharing practice numbers with team members is a touchy subject for some practice owners. But it’s an important subject to consider because it can have a big impact on practice performance.
I recently reached out to the members of the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout Facebook group to get their take on the issue. My questions to them were simple: Should the practice numbers be shared with the office manager or team leader. And I asked them to defend their answer: If so, why? If not, why not?
Members were overwhelmingly in favor of sharing. In defending their answers these three themes formed.
Sharing numbers gives your team more context to their work.
Sharing your numbers is similar to sharing your practice vision with your team in that it helps you put context into key areas of team member performance.
For example, as I shared in my book (which you can get for free here) in 2011 I walked into my practice and told my small team I had a big vision. I wanted to grow while making a greater impact on people’s lives than we had been making. And I wanted to be different. I wanted to create an extraordinary customer experience for my patients. I wanted more! Had I tasked my team to help me achieve that vision without more context, they would have no idea what to do next.
The same is true with sharing numbers with key team members. With so many tasks that need to be performed in our practice, important things can seem like “busy work” without putting them into context. By sharing numbers with key team members, we let them know how seemingly disconnected tasks work together.
Additionally, sharing numbers shows team members where revenue goes. It shows them costs they don’t realize you encounter and trends in practice spending. They can see when things like supply costs, lease payments, or real estate taxes rise. When team members see the costs of running a practice, they often get even more aware the areas where they can help, such as reducing waste, negotiating supply costs, and more.
Sharing your numbers with your office manager or team leader builds trust.
Although some people hesitate to share numbers because they fear it could cause a rift between team members and practice ownership, many people found otherwise.
One member commented that sharing the numbers ensures the “boat will be going in the right direction.” She said it fosters an environment of “trust” and “honesty,” in her practice, which she described as “two vital things for a lasting (and rewarding) relationship.” She continued, “It’s been a huge part of our success, if everyone knows where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going… those who are the right fit will be ready to help row!”
Another member said, “It breeds trust, it breeds culture and the numbers are the way to measure success!”
Because the Facebook group is closed, I have kept these responses anonymous. But trust was a common theme from the members.
Sharing numbers helps you incentivize and reward based on practice health.
Another common theme with the members was something else I talked about in my book, rewarding based on practice health. In my book, I mentioned that my team understands that as our business becomes more profitable, they can earn more money because I share the increasing profits with them. They know that can enable them to do things in their lives to achieve their personal dreams. Having conversations connecting practice success with their personal success helps connect their personal goals to my practice vision.
One member put it this way:
When you share the performance results with those who are performing, performance begins to improve every time. It’s a form of transferring ownership. Every day we come into the practice we surround ourselves with brilliant people. Letting them see the successes and opportunities for improvement will allow their creative juices to flow and help capture those opportunities. Use data as a way to empower and motivate. Celebrate successes daily and identify one to two opportunities daily as you review together and incredible things will happen
Your numbers should be shared with your entire team on a monthly basis. A goal and bonus system should be in place in every dental practice. If you invest in your team they will invest in you and your patients.
Sharing numbers, setting goals based on those numbers, and assigning a bonus system that allows you to share in the upside helps get the entire team working together.
Do you share practice numbers with team members?
Do you share your practice numbers with team members? If so, which team members? All team members? Just your office manager or team leader?
What about your numbers? Do you share all of them? Just high-level profit/loss numbers plus key performance indicators?
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