Running a dental practice is a team effort but, as dentists, sometimes it feels like we’re doing all the work. The reality is, that’s not the case. In fact, your practice wouldn’t be as amazing as it is without your team members contributing greatly. Your practice might not feel amazing right now. But with a few simple shifts, you can experience incredible growth and fulfillment.
While these challenges are important to overcome in any environment, now is an even better time to help get them done. The covid-19 crisis, and the resulting pause to our practices, gives us an unprecedented opportunity. During this pause, work on putting simple strategies in place to come back stronger and with an even more productive and motivated team.
Here are two daily challenges many practice owners express and how to solve them.
“My team member isn’t getting done what I want them to get done on a daily basis.”
With this one, sometimes the cure is a dose of hard truth. When this feeling comes up, are you sure the issue is with the team member? To find out, ask yourself, “What did I not do to make this person as good as they could possibly be in their position?”
Oftentimes, frustrations cause us to only focus on a team member's mistakes. That causes us to think about taking measures to replace them. When that happens we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember the value of that team member. They’ve surely done a lot of amazing things for your practice. If not, it's possible they need to be transitioned out to protect the rest of your team. But many team members just need better direction and management from us.
A great way to point your team member in a better direction, and ensure they get done what you want them to get done, is to create a task list. Reprioritize their responsibilities. When you do this, you might even realize that your current expectations are unrealistic. You might be asking them to do too many things. You might be asking them to do low-value tasks that cause high-value tasks to go undone. Or, you might ask them to do things that are too difficult for them to do.
Create a realistic, prioritized task list that has your team member focusing first on what you want them to get done every day. That way, they’ll get the high-value items complete first. They’ll also be much happier and motivated. They aren’t being given a daily list of duties that leaves them feeling unproductive and overwhelmed.
“My team members aren’t implementing my processes.”
When you strive to deliver a WOW experience to patients, you’re going to do unconventional things. You'll hand patients warm towels when they come in or offer them gourmet coffee. You might spend a whole lot of money to get all these processes put in place. And then you might get annoyed when you realize your team members aren’t giving the patients what you want them to give them.
If your team members aren’t implementing your processes, educate them as to why they need to put those processes in place. To use the example of handing out warm towels, explain that patients come back to your practice for the experience rather than the dentistry. Talk about how this motivates people to get dental care they need and improve their health. Your team will be more motivated knowing handing out towels helps people avoid big health issues in the future. All of your processes can be tied to a motivating positive outcome. Your team members will begin to see the importance of them.
Motivate them further by telling them that increased productivity will result in an increased bottom line, which will result in them getting bigger bonuses. Dangling the carrot of a big bonus is an incentive many dentists use when trying to get the best work from their team.
What issues are you having that we can help you with?
Are your team members regularly completing their tasks or following procedures? If not, ask yourself whether a shift in the way you lead them is the answer. And try these tweaks to the way you lead them. They might be just what you need to take your practice to new heights.
If you want more help with building a WOW practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.