How to Find a Good Dental Team Member

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How To Build a Successful Dental Practice

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How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

No matter how well we recruit, onboard, and train team members, people will leave your practice. When you first start building a WOW practice, some team members will find that they are no longer aligned with your vision. As you continue, people will leave for many other reasons, too. An exit interview provides a great opportunity to learn exactly what happened.

If you do not conduct exit interviews, you miss the opportunity to gain important information about your practice. Here's what you need to know about exit interviews and how to conduct one.

Why Every Practice Should Conduct Exit Interviews

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

One of the benefits of building a WOW practice is developing trust between you and your team members. Establishing shared goals and investing in team member development builds tremendous trust.

No matter how much trust you build, team members will sometimes still feel uncomfortable providing feedback. This is especially true with negative feedback about coworkers or the work environment. If they leave your practice without sharing the information, you may never know what changes you need to make to improve.

Exit interviews give you an opportunity to get open and honest feedback about your practice. Because the person will no longer rely upon your practice for income or see their colleagues, they are more likely to be forthcoming. These insights can help you reduce turnover and improve your practice in many ways.

How to Conduct an Exit Interview

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

In Delivering WOW Platinum, we recommend using a formal exit interview questionnaire to get feedback from departing employees. Using a formal questionnaire helps you standardize the process and ensure you address everything you need to address.

Exit interviews do not have to be long processes. But it's important that they be free from distraction and private in nature. Additionally, it should be comprehensive. Questions we recommend asking include:

  • What is/are your reason(s) for leaving?
  • If you are accepting another position, what makes it more attractive than your current position?
  • How would you rate your training received at the practice?
  • How would you rate the practice's pay and benefits?
  • Do you have any recommendations regarding our compensation, benefits, and other reward and recognition efforts?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with your supervisor?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with other management staff?
  • Do you believe management adequately recognized staff member contributions?
  • How would you rate your working relationship with other team members?
  • What did you enjoy most about your position?
  • What were some of the challenges you experienced?
  • Describe the qualities and characteristics of the person who is most likely to succeed in this practice.
  • What suggestions do you have to make the practice an even better place to work?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share as a final comment?

For answers asking people to rate their experience, we recommend asking them to rate them on a scale, such as on a scale of poor to excellent.

How to Spot Areas for Improvement From Exit Interviews

 

How to Conduct Effective Exit Interviews

 

Once you record each team member's answers, conclude the exit interview. Then, immediately record your thoughts on paper while it's fresh in your mind. Specifically, ask yourself three questions:

  • Did the reason for leaving expressed during the interview match the stated reason?
  • Could the resignation have been averted?
  • What would need to change to have averted the resignation?

Finally, record any other comments or observations from the exit interview. When doing so, focus on reflections you can revisit on your own or with practice leadership to improve the practice moving forward. Spending time to reflect on what you can do to change can help you avoid other people leaving for those reasons in the future. Also, if a team member who was not a good fit for your practice leaves, what they say during the interview can help you put things in place to avoid hiring similar team members in the future.

Do you conduct exit interviews when people leave your practice?

Building amazing teams involves attracting and retaining top-quality team members while avoiding or moving on from team members who do not fit your practice vision. Conducting exit interviews can help you with both of these goals. If you don't yet conduct exit interviews in your practice, these questions can help you get started.

If you want help, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program today. There, you'll get access to top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice, including our exit interview questionnaire that gives you everything you need to conduct an effective exit interview.

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

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.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

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.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

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.

 

3 Reasons to Share Practice Numbers with Key Team Members

 

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

Another added:

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?

If you want help growing into your practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a practice.

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

Running a practice can take a large amount of work and create a lot of stress when you can’t rely on your team members to perform on their own. There’s always something to do, so when you feel like you are the only person who can do things well, you will never experience true freedom.

When we train our team members to become true leaders, a lot of the burdens on practice leaders disappear. That is why so many practices are investing in coaching or training for their team members—such as the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

Here are three signs that your investment in your team members is building them into true leaders.

1. Your team members are communicating clearly with each other.

 

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

 

Leaders know the way to evaluate effective communication is through the responses they get. If the responses match expectations, the communication was clear. If the response is not what you intended, chances are you were not clear in your communication.

A good leader knows this and does not get frustrated when people do not respond the right way—especially when more than one person misinterprets the leader’s words. Instead, they seek to communicate more clearly.

If your team is communicating clearly with each other and consistently working on improving communication, chances are your team members are becoming true leaders.

2. Your team members control their emotions and do not take things personally.

 

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

 

Leaders know how to control their own emotions and not take constructive criticism personally. Dental practices can be emotional places. Many patients are anxious at dental practices. Additionally, patients can easily become confused about out-of-pocket costs for procedures, especially with insurance practices. When emotions get high, leaders remain calm.

Leaders are also able to manage their own emotions. They recognize when they begin to get frustrated. They take a walk, breathe, pause, and do whatever else they need to stay in control. Leaders manage their emotions for the good of the practice.

3. Your team members overcome adversity to complete difficult tasks.

 

3 Signs Your Team Members Have Become Leaders

 

One of the telltale signs of a true leader is their ability to overcome adversity. It takes humility, the willingness to make mistakes, and the tenacity to push through challenges to become successful. Only developed leaders will truly have this ability.

When times get tough, leaders dig in and push forward. When something doesn’t go well, they learn from mistakes and try again. This trait does not always come naturally, but it will come out as team members grow into leaders.

Are your team members developing into leaders?

These three traits are common signs that your team members are developing into leaders. When you build a team of leaders, everyone wins. Negativity will go down. Team members will identify and improve systems and processes. They will delegate to each other and step up to support each other when needed. Best of all, they will take much of the work—and stress—of running a dental practice off the doctor’s shoulders.

If you ever want to build a practice that gives you true time and financial freedom, it is critical that you get out of the “I’ll just do it myself” mindset and invest in building a team of leaders to support you.

Having leaders on our team can make our jobs as owners so much easier and can build the strength of the entire team. A good leader lifts everyone with them and guides the team forward to a brighter future. Use these signs to evaluate your current staff members and maybe even to evaluate yourself. You may be surprised by what you find.

If you want help developing leaders within your team, our team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program can help. Not only will we share tools, trainings, and resources, but we can also train your team members directly and hold them accountable.

You can also join thousands of other dentists helping each other in my Free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook Group!