As a dentist, you face a fundamental challenge shared by business owners across the country. Namely, how can you make your employees care as much as you do? The reality is quite simple: you own your business. Your employees, even if they like their job, are working for a paycheck. Their goals aren’t in perfect alignment with your goals. For you, a new patient is great news. For your staff, a new patient simply means more work.
Because your employees do not have the same passion for their job as you do, it is important to recognize that your employees are simply not going to work as hard as you do. From wasting time browsing the internet to procrastinating on important work, unmotivated employees often seem to be doing everything but what they are supposed to be doing.
Of course, you don’t have the time to babysit your team—so how can you make sure that they are working efficiently and earning their paycheck? Below are three steps you can take.
1) Stop living in denial. Every business owner tells himself that HIS employees are efficient and dedicated. But understanding human nature tells us otherwise. It’s not that unproductive employees are bad people—it’s just that they aren’t as motivated as you are. So stop living in denial and acknowledge that your team isn’t as passionate about your business as you are.
2) Assign specific responsibilities—and hold your team accountable. Make sure that every member of your team has a specific role with specific responsibilities. And then, evaluate whether or not each team member met expectations on a weekly basis. Out in place a system of benefits and consequences—give your team a reason to get their job done right!
3) Utilize “secret shoppers” to keep an eye on things. Of course, your team is always going to be on their ‘A’ game when you are in the room. But how do they handle phone calls when you’re with a patient? How well do they treat patients when you aren’t around? “Secret shoppers” are typically very affordable—arrange to have your practice visited regularly, particularly when you aren’t around. Pay close attention to the reports you receive and manage your team accordingly.
As a dentist, you want to believe that you team is always motivated and on the ball. But the reality of human nature tells us otherwise. Don’t be naïve—put systems in place to ensure that your staff is earning their paycheck!