How discipline can transform your practice

May 23, 2019
Dr. Roger P. Levin
Dr. Roger P. Levin

Dr. Roger P. Levin is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is one of the most sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10 percent. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time magazine and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day, which has over 30,000 subscribers. To contact Dr. Levin, visit www.levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com.

3 attributes found in disciplined employees that will help you succeed.

The difficulty of hiring great team members is a common business complaint. However, there are businesses that seemed to have mastered finding the right people. And they all seem to have attracted people with one common trait-discipline. Disciplined people perform better than others. They’re always self-motivated and do not need to be managed. When you hire and mentor disciplined people they will work diligently to perform and achieve the necessary tasks. They either already have the skill or are willing to acquire the skills necessary to do the job. Need more proof? Let’s look at how disciplined people can transform your practice.

Related reading: How to deal with lazy employees

  • Top 10 percent of performing practices have team members with high levels of self-discipline. How do we measure this? By looking at the daily task list of the team members in these practices and how often they were completed. Daily tasks were documented so the staff knew what to do. After that it was a simple matter of leaving them alone and letting the disciplined team members do their thing. And they did. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. They did it religiously, consciously and with pride and a positive feeling as each task was accomplished.     

  • Discipline people master systems. Suppose your practice has a system that requires any patient a day overdue for an appointment must receive a call that day and go through a nine-week follow-up process. The objective is to get the patient scheduled and reduce the number of patients lost. This system has been implemented in many practices, but how well is it followed?  Disciplined people will make sure the system is followed and carried out every day. As one team member told us jokingly, “I would rather die than miss a day of contacting overdue patients." This may sound a bit extreme, but you get the idea. Therefore, top practices have disciplined people.

  • Disciplined think on their feet. No matter how well we build a system for our clients they’re always variations depending on each patient situation. Disciplined people handle these curveballs better than others. Why? Because they know the task must be completed and they’re not afraid to make decisions on their own in order to accomplish that. They don’t do ridiculous things or things that hurt the practice. They make decisions that will be in the best interest of the practice and allow them to complete the task. This is particularly important when handling unhappy patients. Time after time, we’ve seen these team members make quick decisions to resolve these situations to the benefit of the patient and the practice. Sometimes they don’t charge the patient. Other times they will provide them with a gift card for their trouble. Patients always respond positively, feeling they have been heard and the practice truly cares. Team members who hear dissatisfaction from patients without addressing it often miss an opportunity to turn things around.

Summary

There’s no getting around it. Hiring disciplined people is a great way to transform your practice. Disciplined team members are highly focused performers who don’t need to be managed and are willing to learn and grow. When you build a team of self-disciplined individuals, the practice will perform better than ever before.

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