Why do some dental practices succeed while others fail? Why do some dentists have to work long hours each week just to pay the bills… while others enjoy short workdays and long vacations, and still net a higher income than most of their peers?
It would be an oversimplification to suggest that there is any single factor. From savvy marketing to physical office location, there are a number of variables that impact the success or failure of each practice. However, over the years I have observed a trend that holds true virtually all of the time: the more effective and efficient a dental staff is, the more profitable the practice is.
An effective team makes it easier to retain current patients and attract new ones. A skillful team ensures that the daily operations of the practice are as smooth as possible. A well-trained team makes your job, as a dentist, simpler and more fulfilling.
How can you create a world-class team? Below are three tips to keep in mind.
1) Don’t train individuals… create systems. No matter how skilled your team is, they won’t be around forever. Individuals will lose interest, they’ll move on to other practices, they’ll retire, etc. So don’t focus on the individuals—focus on creating systems that can be operated effectively, no matter who is at the helm. Determine and define the roles that are necessary, and work to create procedures and standards for each.
2) Preach consistency. Once you have created the systems necessary to keep your practice running smoothly, the next step is to communicate to your team that they don’t need to be superheroes! All you need from them is consistency—you need them to come to work each day and do their job. No more, and no less!
3) Empower employees. Make it a goal to give your employees as much autonomy within the systems you create as possible. Don’t make them come to you for approval of every little decision—grant them freedom, as long as they continue to earn it. Not only does this create more fulfilling work environment, but it also allows your staff to feel a sense of ownership and pride that would not otherwise be possible!
At the end of the day, the key to creating a world-class dental team lies in systemization. Don’t force yourself to “reinvent the wheel” every time you make a new hire—instead, work to create a system that operates smoothly no matter who happens to be running it. We’ll have more on this in upcoming blog entries… but in the meantime, feel free to get in touch if you’d like to learn more!