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8 Ways to Build a Rock Star Dental Team Culture




Culture is defined by the character and personality of your organization. It makes your practice unique and is the sum of its values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes. What can you do to create a great culture in your office? Here are 8 things to remember and implement if they do not already exist.

  1. Focus on Vision and Core Values

    A great practice vision does not just appear. First, it must be articulated and communicated, and then it can be lived by the team. Positive practice cultures have core values that every team member knows by heart. These values and this mission are accessible and branded into internal and external communications at all times.
  2. Lead By Example
    It starts at the top. As the leader, you must meet the same standards expected of your employees. Remember, delegation equals trust. Delegate tasks to the leaders on your team, then enable them to make decisions and complete projects their way when possible. Give your leaders a goal and some direction, then let them achieve it themselves. They might take a different approach than you would have, but it could be effective or inspire new ideas.
  3. Build Strong Relationships
    Building a relationship with your team takes effort. Make a point of having lunch with at least 1 team member a month. Put your phone down and have a conversation. Find something you have in common and discuss it. Talk to team members about what motivates them to do a good job. Find ways to acknowledge the effort they put into building a top practice culture.
  4. Clarify Roles and Job Descriptions
    Establishing specific expectations provides clarity to help team members understand their roles, creating a cohesive team. This includes clear job descriptions, regular employee reviews, leadership coaching, and training. Having written standard operating procedures for systems, processes, and roles in the practice will guide the way for your team and set a standard of care for your patients.
  5. Open and Honest Communication
    How we listen and speak to one another requires constant attention and improvement to be successful. It is essential that the team is on the same page with communication, starting with the morning huddle. Without such a meeting, it is nearly impossible to make sure everyone is aware of unique patient situations that are expected during their appointments. Effective handoffs throughout the workday are another key to open communication. When your patients see the team communicating in a comprehensive and effective manner, they tend to feel better-taken care of, because they are.
  6. Whatever-it-Takes Attitude
    Doing whatever it takes is a mindset. It is a culture. It is a way of life. If you expect your employees to have a whatever-it-takes attitude, you must have the same outlook. You must set an example for your employees by thinking big and taking massive action. You must model this behavior. Teams that do whatever it takes understand that the goal is more important than the role. This means never having someone refuse to do a task because it is “not my job.” Rather, that individual is willing to take on any responsibility to achieve the goal.
  7. Celebrate Wins
    Considering how busy a dental practice can be day-to-day, it can be easy to forget about the small wins. Celebrating these little accomplishments can be so important. These tiny doses of encouragement will fuel you to keep going when things get tough. It is easy to weave these celebrations into your work life. One easy way is to start every morning huddle or team meeting with a win from the previous day.
  8. Have a Lot of Fun
    Studies over the last 2 decades have revealed that, when workplaces make fun a priority, it creates happier employees who feel more satisfied—and happy team members are better at their jobs. Having fun also improves teamwork, builds trusting relationships, and increases employee retention. The great news is that incorporating fun into the practice is easy.
    Here are some fun ideas: Team-building outings, monthly team challenges, a day at the nail salon, dressing up for holidays, celebrating wins, and big surprises.

    Your dental team is your most valuable asset. Putting in the time and energy to create that rock star culture is the greatest investment you can make.
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