How To Make Your Dental Team The Best

Is your dental practice being plagued by staff who are in cliques, bitching, back stabbing, petty jealousies and rivalries? Is your office being thwarted by staff who have bad attitudes, poor attendance, turn up late and switch off early or bring their personal problems and drama into work?

Dental Team – The Making or Breaking of Dental Practices

Are you frustrated by people who can’t do the simplest of tasks that you’ve asked them to do, or show lack of initiative or overstep their level of responsibility? Does it drive you mad when a mistake gets made and no one is willing to own up and be accountable or do what is needed to rectify the situation. Are you being held hostage by a team member who you think you can’t manage without yet they are toxic and damaging team morale and turning your patients away in droves.

Do you have a team player that never wants to put in the effort or is negative and not willing to change or embrace new ideas? Do you have a team who tell you that won’t work here, our patients won’t like it?  Are you letting your team dictate to you how things get done and how you should run your business?

Is Your Team Healthy?

Your team is like the heart of your business. If the arteries get blocked with poor attitudes, bad behaviours, laziness or incompetency the heart gets damaged and causes pain, which needs immediate attention. You have a complex mix of people and personalities working in your team and you need to find a way to ensure they are not damaging your business.

Take a moment and reflect what is going on with your staff. Do you have some little niggles that you are ignoring, tolerating and not addressing, are you letting your team get away with bad behaviours or having poor attitudes, are you letting your standards slip because it’s too hard to deal with or has their already been damage to the team that is causing you pain and stress and you can’t see a way out of it when it really needs immediate attention.

Well it is precisely these little niggles and things that you are tolerating and trying to ignore that if you keep on ignoring them will escalate and blow up and before you know it you have a staff crisis on your hands.

Just take a few moments to review and reflect what is the team like in your practice right now and what sort of team you would love to have. Is your team where you would like them to be, do you have your dream team and if not what can you do about it?

Get The Right Team and Love Dentistry

Having the right team will support you to be able to focus on your dentistry while they take care of the day to day in the office. Having A grade team players who are professional and who share in your vision and your goals is the key for taking your practice from good to great and building a great reputation and loyal patients who recommend you to their friends and family.

Your team can make or break your business and they can make or break you. I used to say I’d pay someone a huge sum of money if they could come and wave a magic wand to fix my staff issues so that I never had to spend a minute on HR or team management ever again. Well I didn’t need to spend a massive sum to have this happen or hire someone to take care of it. What I did instead was decide I only wanted the best team and so I trained and invested in my existing team, cut those who were not an A player and hired the right people for the roles in my business.

A Players And How To Spot Them

So what do I mean by A Grade players – these are the people on your team who have great attitudes along with great skills and are willing to do whatever it takes to go the extra mile and deliver on their tasks and your vision for your dental office.

A B grade player who is someone who has a good attitude and good skills and is willing to learn and has the potential to become A grade.

A C grade player is someone who has great skills but a poor attitude or has a great attitude but lacks skills and isn’t able to improve their skill set.

And a D player is someone with poor attitude and no skills and you want to avoid hiring these types of people completely. They are obvious and you should be able to spot this type very quickly if you do make that mistake and hire them. The only action is to let them go quickly before they do harm to your business.

What To Do About C Grade Players

The most challenging team player is the C player. They are either really good at their job but their attitude sucks and they bring morale down or they are such a lovely, enthusiastic person but they keep stuffing up and making mistakes because they can’t grasp the basic skills they require to do the task. This means everyone is always trying to complete their tasks for them and be helpful as they like this person.

But what happens is the C play is like a slow growing cancer in your office, their attitude starts to rub you and your other team players up the wrong way or the constant mistakes and what is required to fix them pulls your A and B plays from their roles and the office starts to dip into stress and chaos. It’s not long before your A and B players start wondering why they are bothering to bring their A game when this C player is getting away with so much and being paid the same as they are and they then start to drop their performance.

Before you know it you have a whole team of C players and your office is underperforming.

A C player like a cancer needs to be cut out and removed before they kill your team. This takes courage and a willingness to be candid with the team member who is not able to meet your requirements and the ability for you to be able to let them go. I can tell you from experience once that person leaves your team thank you for it, you feel much better and happiness, productivity and a high performing team is quickly restored.

Don’t tolerate mediocre performance in your business; you, your team and your patients deserve to have better.

Tips For Creating The Best Dental Team

Here are some tips and tools to having an A Grade team and a great work environment:

Recruit based on attitudes and values not their skills. Skills can be taught but you can’t make someone be the type of person who fits your dental office values and culture if they are not that way inside.

Invest in training, spend time so they know exactly what is expected of them, get clear about and communicate your objectives, what you want them to do and how you want them to do it and how they will know they have done it. Inspect what you expect and hold them accountable and support them to learn.

Create a practice manual with clear position descriptions and systems, targets and key performance indicators. The practice manual is a document that they can refer to that walks them through exactly how to do what they need to do so they know how to do it and what the end result is.

Listen to your team so you know what’s going on for them and any challenges they have in the office. This way you can create a training program that supports them to over come these challenges.

You need to motivate and invest in your team this can be done with team appraisals and training sessions, by sharing your why and your vision and encouraging them to be more through additional education and expanding their roles.

Incentivise them, reward them for a job well done and for hitting goals or milestones. This can be in the form of a bonus or a gift, a voucher, taking them out for a meal or doing something together as a team like continuing education events or having an outside trainer or coach come in to work with your team for a day. And if it’s a big goal that gets met how about having a spa day or doing something special that you know they would enjoy like going to a show.

Celebrate the wins at every opportunity, catch them doing something right and praise them, remember to thank them and let them know how well they are doing. Consider having a team member of the month so you can celebrate their hard work and achievements. Remember most people value recognition and work place environment more than money and you will get more from team members who feel acknowledged and valued than you will from those who feel taken for granted and ignored.

If you need help to get your team to be A grade and be really adding value to your business please reach out as I’d love to support you to be surrounded by a team that delivers fantastic results for you and your patients everyday.