Dentists who are truly invested in the success
of their practice also motivate their teams—
and increase production. Commit to these
10 principles for a better 2020 and beyond
As we close out 2019, take a long and introspective look at your engagement in your practice throughout the year. Are you proud of your own level of engagement, or could you and your practice benefit from even more?
This is so much more important than you may realize because if you’re not engaged, you can’t expect your team to be engaged. Your team’s natural tendency is to mimic your behavior, which includes your engagement. So if you up your engagement, your team is likely to follow.
Engagement is also essential to keeping your employees. Think I’m exaggerating? According to a recent study, four out of five employees don’t reach their full potential; 71% of all employees are not fully engaged. A whopping $11 billion is lost each year due to employee turnover. These numbers are staggering and remind us that employee engagement needs to be taken much more seriously in the workplace.
Lastly, remember that engagement takes much longer to build than it takes to tear down. Once you get the momentum going, you have to work to keep it going. Just one poorly thought-out sentence or negative meeting can send your entire team’s engagement plummeting—and that can really do a number on your production.
1. Commit to a higher standard.
When you decide that “mediocre” is no longer acceptable at your office and you want only the best of the best in all areas of the practice, it will force you and your team to step up your engagement.
2. Commit long term to developing your team.
That means investing in training them and making the conscious decision to help every team member grow, both professionally and personally. This will not only increase team synergy but also improve your relationship with your staff.
3. Set goals and celebrate the wins.
Too often we get totally wrapped up in the negative; it’s so easy to notice what goes wrong and to ignore what goes right. Take the time to celebrate your office’s wins with the whole team—especially when big goals are met!
4. Develop and share core values.
At the Scheduling Institute, we interview potential employees to see if they’re in line with the core values of our company. We want a team that is positive, fun, ethical and sales-minded, and overdelivers on value. These are the standards by which we measure every hire, fire, reward and company decision.
5. Model being engaged.
If you put in the effort to raise your engagement, your team will follow suit. That means improving your attitude, filtering the things you say, and showing a strong interest in the practice and your team. It’s that simple.
6. Nurture a culture of growth.
The most successful offices are filled with people and processes that are constantly growing and improving. Do you want a team that loves learning and is eager to be the best? Then encourage them to learn: Host financial classes, invest in regular trainings, and encourage personal pursuits and hobbies.
7. Keep a positive focus.
Remind everyone to stay inside their bubbles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into an office to see the news on and team members bickering about politics. You are letting negativity inside your bubble! You and your team need to focus only on what you can control, because that’s the surest path to success.
8. “You get what you deserve.”
This is, in my opinion, the one thing you can always count on to be true. If you have an office where low performance is the norm, you can expect low production and poor results. If you run an office where only high performance is accepted and you all work your tails off—well, your bank account should be proof.
9. Know your strengths and weaknesses.
Nothing screws with your ability to succeed more than being dishonest with yourself. If you have weaknesses, you need to admit them to yourself and then advertise them to your team. That way, your team will be able to pick up the areas where you falter, and together you can create balance. If you try to hide your weaknesses, you will end up limiting the success of the whole team.
10. Commit to accountability.
Accountability tends to trickle down from the top. If it isn’t in place at the highest level, it’s doomed to fail on all other levels. Here’s the ideal model: A coach or adviser holds the doctor accountable; the doctor holds his or her team accountable; and the team holds patients accountable. That way, everyone has a support system and is held to the highest standard.
Commit to stepping up your engagement in 2020. If you start practicing these things now, you should be a pro by the time the next new year rolls around!