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Employees can either be the best thing about your practice or your biggest liability - these tips can help you make them successful.
There is a lot you can’t control in your practice. You can’t make customers walk in the door, you can’t keep your data absolutely safe, you can’t make everyone in your office the perfect employee.
You can’t do any of these things, but you can set up policies that help to influence them. You can create a great marketing plan to help advertise your practice, you can invest in the latest tech to keep your data as safe as possible. With employees, it’s the same thing. Invest in training that will help you be a better manager. Make your work environment the best it can be. Pay attention to how you and employees interact.
It’s easier said than done though, so here are five tips to help you better manage what could be your dental practice’s greatest asset: employees. From front office staff to hygenists, a well-performing staff is vital. Do you have the tools to make that happen?
Up next: Why do dental associates fail?
Why dental associates often fail
When I see a persistent problem in the dental industry, I don’t search for solutions in the same place others ordinarily would. Why? Because others typically look for solutions where there is the least power. Most people look for solutions that are either more, better or different - but the same thing they’re already doing. Although they might spend plenty of time and money working on these solutions, rarely does the effort pay off.
Some people are entrepreneurial and inventive enough to experiment with new solutions. Unfortunately, trying to create new solutions to chronic problems doesn’t have a great success rate.
Why do these efforts fail or under-deliver? The answer is invariably the same: because the context is not right.
How to create valuable partnerships between younger and older dentists
The inexperienced dentist may see a wonderful opportunity with a mentor who has experience not just in the clinical side of the profession but also in the administrative part. Knowing management skills and having financial and business expertise is very much a part of the economics of dentistry.
The partnership of the two age groups may be a wonderful relationship for each. The more mature and experienced dentist sees the energy of youth and the ability to work and learn so that the dental practice may grow and be respected by the community that it serves. It is also an excellent built-in exit strategy for the experienced and older dentist. With seminars and the recent state-of-the-art education of the younger dentist, the clinical piece of dentistry can be addressed and the patients should be happy. When the dentists speak to each other, they should certainly understand their professional language and work together to increase production and to learn from each other.
How to succeed with millennial associates
Like it or not, your company’s future performance, negotiable value and operational value are becoming more and more determined by millennials.
The deeper understanding you have of millennials, the better your leadership, management and structures for working with them. The more you understand them, the better your communication and relationships will be with them. The better your communication and relationships are with millennials, the greater their levels of commitment and responsibilities will develop.
How to be a successful dentist CEO
When I work with dentist entrepreneurs in emerging or small group practices with three to 10 practices, they often began their journey envisioning themselves as the CEO of their future enterprise-away from the “chair,” sitting in a corporate wood-paneled office, meeting with a stellar executive team that is getting the job done in each department, with little or no oversight. They imagined themselves in a leather padded swivel chair, turning around as they look out through their floor to ceiling windows at the cityscape, all the while having a conversation on their headset. “Ah, it will be great,” they think.
What they don’t realize is being a CEO isn't about having a C-level title, a corner office, or the power to make important company decisions. The best CEOs know that their success or failure depends on their ability to inspire and guide the people in their company.
Being a CEO doesn’t mean to manage people; being a CEO means to lead people.
Know when it's time to fire an employee
You do your best to hire the right people. You know how important a strong team is to your success, after all. Sometimes, though, it just doesn’t work out and certain employees end up doing the practice more harm than good - which is a situation you can’t afford to ignore.
Team members who aren’t performing as they should can cause a lot of problems. They lead to extra stress, cost you money, hurt the practice image and jeopardize your marketing efforts. Trust me, patients can tell when team members are struggling with their role or just aren’t very motivated. It shows in how they interact with them and with other team members.