How to give effective feedback to your team

December 1, 2015

Providing staff members with effective feedback is critical to your practice's success.

Providing staff members with effective feedback is critical to your practice's success.  

Communication is important in any relationship, and your professional ones are no exception. Without it, your team could mistakenly misunderstand or misinterpret your intentions-even if they are positive. Whether you intend to give positive or negative feedback, remember it is important to provide constructive information that will help the employee in his or her role.

Here are three steps to remember when providing feedback to your staff:

Related reading: 5 essential staff training strategies within the dental practice

  •  Provide a specific example. Pick a instance in which the employee performed well or poorly. It is best if the example is recent. Give the details of the situation and be precise about what the employee should continue to do, improve upon or change.

  • llustrate how the action benefits or hinders the team. Your employees may be unaware of what they are doing or how it affects others. Provide a specific example of how their actions affect everyone in the practice. 

  • Communicate your expectations. Outline each staff member's responsibilities and communicate these along with how those duties contribute to the practice.

More on communication: 4 simple steps to follow to decide whether or not to give a bonus in the dental practice

Continue reading on Page 2 ...

 

Here is an example of how to properly give positive feedback: Let’s say you just finished a complicated procedure, and your assistant did an excellent job. Instead of saying, "You did a great job! Thank you," be more specific. Try: "That appointment with Mr. Jones went much better than I thought because of the way you retracted the tissue to clear my field of vision. I appreciated that my mirror was dry, the cheek was tucked away and you kept up your suction. Please do that every time!” Pointing out specifics communicates exactly what you liked about the assistant's work and encourages him or her to repeat it.

Here is an example of how to properly give negative feedback: Let’s say one of your front-office employees regularly comes in with a dirty uniform and unkempt appearance. Instead of saying, "Wow! When was the last time you washed your clothes?" be polite but direct. For example: "I’ve noticed lately that you come in with your uniform wrinkled and unwashed. I provide the team with uniforms so we can look polished and professional. The way you present yourself represents me, the team and the office. I need you to wash your uniform and come to work looking clean and presentable."

While running a practice can be difficult, communication goes a long way. Clearly delivering your expectations leaves no room for confusion, and your staff will appreciate it.

Related reading: The importance of mentorship in dentistry