Meetings are the Cost of a Winning Team

Regular dental team meetings are essential to a productive work environment.

Giving recognition for a job well done publicly at the team meetings encourages the other team members to do more than the bare minimum.

We've all seen a sports team huddle. Huddles send the message "We're a team, we have a plan, and we plan to win."

MIT's Human Dynamics Lab spent hundreds of hours tracking performance drivers within successful organizations. The results revealed just one factor as the driver of high performance teams - proximity and the ability to meet face-to-face.

In person meetings provide connection, trust, and empathy that cannot be replicated. These are the drivers of motivation. Meetings keep everyone focused on the business. A productive meeting with an agenda keeps team leaders focused on the issues that need resoltuion to make your dental office more productive and successful.

No one knows what needs improvement in your dental office better than the dental staff members.

Agendas for dental office team meetings can include line items such as “Project Updates” and “Issues to be Resolved”. Dental Teams can review reports such as production, collections, scheduling, exams, exam follow-up, accounts receivable, and bills payable with transparent management. Calendar updates and plans for action can be discussed and reviewed. Actions that get rewarded in turn get repeated. Giving recognition for a job well done publicly at the team meetings encourages the other team members to do more than the bare minimum.

Communication is admitting to what systems are no longer working. With open communication, meetings will be lively, team members will be engaged, and problems will be resolved quickly. There will be friction occasionally. Discuss progress, celebrate wins, and give everyone the opportunity to speak and have their opinions heard.

Whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly, your dental office team meetings are essential to the creation of a positive work environment and are the moment of truth for progress, performance, and accountability in the dental practice. They are the cost of team members belonging and working together towards common goals.

Some dentists might think team meetings are too costly in time spent leading to a perceived loss of production. Yet studies have shown that 35% of a team's performance can be explained by the number of times team members actively speak together face-to-face.

Ask the team members to score themselves 1 to 10 on the effectiveness of their own team meeting at its conclusion. Work together to make all future meetings a 10. Plan, score, win and Go TEAM!

Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca is an orthodontist at Gorczyca Othodontics in Antioch, California. She is author of the book "Beyond the Morning Huddle.

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