For many dentists, labor costs are one of the biggest expenses incurred. However, it's interesting how many dentists don't work to turn their employees into a profitable return on investment. If the dentist is not a strong leader, who is committed to building a great team and setting a clear path to achieving the vision of the practice, profits are escaping every day. To turn your team into an investment, you've got to be a great leader who can build a team that is committed to helping the practice grow, knows what to do, and performs.
Strong leaders have an ability to inspire others, to build other leaders. They are able to paint a picture of how big the possibilities are for reaching massive goals, and enlist their employees to help them exceed them. Strong leaders give clear directions of their expectations and ensure that their employees know what to do. They are not afraid to have uncomfortable conversations, or to speak up when an employee is not performing. They inspire action.
To be a better leader for your team, share your goals and your vision. Make sure that your team knows what they, as well as you, are working for. Make sure that they understand that through your practice, everyone can achieve their personal dreams. If the business is profitable, everyone wins. A profitable practice means that EVERYONE is doing something right. It means that you have an office culture that is different and unique. It means that you have great systems for consistency. It means that you have a great brand. This level of success can not be achieved with you alone. You need your team. A team which can overdeliver and wow.
Some dentists know that there are people who are not a great culture fit for their practice, but they keep them. They are too afraid to speak up. As a result, their practice will never reach its maximum potential and other employees don't see them as strong leaders.
That being said, once you have your dream team, invest in their success. Carve out time for weekly lunch and learn/ practice growth sessions, provide your team with kindles and purchase books for them for their personal development. Reward them with awesome team building activities off site, and reward them with bonuses from profits!
Team members need to know that they are there to perform specific tasks to help the business grow. They are not there to hang out for the day and collect a paycheck. They need to know that if you wanted to or were able to perform their tasks, you could keep their wage and do it yourself. However, for any business to grow, it must leverage employees to scale up and accomplish more. Dentists must ensure that their team has specific directions of which tasks they must perform, and they must be held accountable. Take the time to have your best team members create manuals for their positions so future new hires have checklists of all of what they must do. These manuals should include photos of setups for operatories and trays, links to training videos that they must watch in your practice management software, and scripts of how common questions should be answered.
What this team looks like is one which brainstorms on growth strategies. This team prevents waste and negotiates with suppliers to get the best cost. This team is an advocate for the practice and helps to bring in new patients while they are out in the community. This team, in turn, is not an expense, but an investment.
Invest in being a better leader and in giving your team the tools to soar, and they will return massive dividends!
Dr. Anissa Holmes, a Global leader in Social Media Marketing, and owner of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services, helps dentists and small business owners receive massive growth through developing their culture, systems and brand.
Dr. Holmes, through her podcast, The Delivering WOW Dental Podcast and her blog Delivering WOW, shares tips for designing a unique business culture to deliver a "Wow" experience every time, strategies to triple leads and new customers as well as strategies to build an amazing team.