Many dentists receive zero management training before opening their dental practice. As the owner and manager, dentists are responsible for more than just helping patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles; it’s also their responsibility to:
- Manage personnel
- Create the vision of the practice
- Set goals
- Make financial decisions
- Resolve conflict
Of these, managing and leading team members is of utmost importance. The way dentists go about managing and interacting with their dental team has an enormous impact on office morale, teamwork, and cohesion.
Need some pointers on how to lead your team well? Check out these four tips to help you to empower and build up your dental team to create a positive culture for you, your team members, and your patients:
1. Encourage open communication
Good communication is the key to happiness and health in all types of relationships—even work ones! Communicate the expectations and goals of your practice clearly and often to maintain a cohesive atmosphere amongst your team members.
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Any fear of communication in you or your team members should be eliminated immediately. Do this by creating a positive, safe environment for discussion. Safe environments are created when leaders lead by example, reward honest (and respectful) dialogue, ask questions that facilitate discussion, and provide helpful feedback.
2. Hold regular meetings
While you are the one setting goals for your practice, none of them are possible without a good team. Help your team members feel included by scheduling daily, weekly, and/or monthly meetings. These meetings will also provide consistency, create unity, and encourage healthy dialogue.
Here are some examples of what to include in these meetings:
- Accomplished goals
- Progress towards long-term goals
- Set new goals
- Establish new routines or ways to improve old ones
- Open the floor for team members to discuss accomplishments, challenges, and concerns
Integrating these discussion points into meetings will ensure each team member walks away feeling valued and included.
3. Acknowledge hard work often
A kind word goes a long way. Make it a goal to compliment at least three of your team members every day. Acknowledge when someone goes out of their way to help a patient or clean up a mess they didn’t make.
Not only will this boost morale and motivate others to work hard, it will encourage your team members to uplift each other as well.
This positive culture is exactly what will keep you, your team, and patients happy.
4. Celebrate members individually
Birthdays are a great time to celebrate each team member individually. You don’t have to go over-the-top; simply picking up a cupcake and birthday card on the way to work will make your team members feel special.
In addition to, or instead of, birthdays, celebrate the work anniversaries of your team members. Each year someone works under you is a year of dedication and service to you, your mission, and their other team members. That’s something worth celebrating!
Want more helpful tips?
These dental team practices will certainly boost your team’s morale, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. At Dental Practice Enhancements, we create specialized team building programs for each of our clients. Our passion is to see our clients succeed in all areas of their dental practice by creating a positive environment for communication and growth.
To learn how we can help improve the work culture in your dental practice, contact our office online or call (833) 373-3678.