Recently I spoke to a local MeetUp group on the topic of team building. After a few minutes of inquiring attendees to get an understanding of the "team performance" issues they came to resolve, I found, like in most cases, that their problems were mostly the result of unclear expectations and poor hires.
The Basics Are The Basics, That's Why They're Called The Basics
Nearly every time I speak, we end up coming right back to the basics. The truth is, there’s nothing really new to learn in the arena of dental practice management. If your team isn’t meeting your expectations, you’re probably missing some basics.
Shocking! The Costly Mistake of a Bad Hire
Brad Smart wrote a great book called “Top Grading” about how to make good hires. In the book, he says that if you make a bad hire, it will actually cost the company 23 times that person’s annual salary.
You're probably thinking, “how is that possible?” Stop and add up all the expenses involved in finding and hiring someone new; the interview process (you have to sort through a bunch of people to find a great fit), the HR paperwork (to get them on the team or to get them off the team), the impact on your practice for training (you can't just throw them out on the court), the access to your clientele (the immediate and long-term effects of losing a patient), your time, etc.; it kinda makes sense. In addition, think of the emotional burden if that person walks away, or you have to let them go, after only a few months of employment and you have to begin the process all over again.
Be Clear on Your Own Expectations for the Position
In order to have a successful dental practice, you need to sit down and get clear on where it is you want to go. If you have a mission/vision [Read: How to Build a Million Dollar Dental Practice] in place, you can greatly reduce the chances of making a poor hire by hiring someone who is in alignment with where you are headed.
The idea is that you want to hire “A” players. These are the top-notch, rain or shine kind of people. Just like “A” patients don’t do irresponsible things like late cancel and no-show for appointments, “A” players on your team are a different quality of person: they’re reliable, good workers and they know how to take care of your patients.
If you understand your mission/vision and use that as a guideline to hire your newest employees, they’re going to be with you for the long term.
Exceed Expectations of Patients and Employees
People leave relationships when they feel unfulfilled. In the case of a recently hired employee, they may leave because they initially weren't completely clear on what they were getting themselves into. Once the true nature of the job and company culture becomes revealed, they may find that it’s not a good fit and look elsewhere for employment.
I teach my clients to sit down with patients and ask Values-Based Questions [Read: Conversations that Matter]. The thinking is that a dental office cannot exceed the patient’s expectations if they don’t know what those expectations are.
It’s the same idea with an employee. When one of my clients is considering a potential new employee, I have them go through the same process and ask questions like, “What expectations do you have of the company you work for? What was great about your previous company? What had you leave your previous company? I want to make sure that we’re on the same page.”
At this point, the mission/vision is key. Is the potential candidate in alignment with your mission/vision? Are they headed in the same direction? If not, the dentist is likely to make a decision that doesn’t line up and won’t be profitable in the long run.
Finally, stay committed to finding the right fit for your team. There are always great people looking for the exceptional practice. Keep interviewing until you find the right person to fill the role, not a warm body to fill the seat. You’re much better off working short-handed than having the wrong people on your team
You can’t build a team until you have a mission vision.
Are you ready to get started on your mission vision and start hiring “A” players? Let’s talk. Set up a time, Contact Us, to meet with a member of the CEO Dentist team to get started right away.
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Wes Jankowski Is the Founder/President of CEODentist As a Business Strategist and Executive Coach, Wes provides Dentists and their teams with the Leadership, Marketing, Business and Financial Management training needed to take their practice from good to great!
Wes is a speaker / lecturer on the topics of Dental Practice Marketing and demystifying the Business of Dentistry. He writes a successful weekly blog and is the author of numerous articles on Dental Practice Management.
Wes Jankowski can be reached at email@example.com or www.ceodentist.com