This one is going to be the biggest shocker for most of us dentists out there. Yes, doctor, you have the big gun when it comes to your ability to fire someone. There’s no doubt about that. But, what you may not realize is that there is a whole subculture going on in your practice that has all the dynamics of one big family without the bloodlines. In this case most dental office staff members spend a large proportion of their precious time with each other. This leads to bonds being formed and significance being placed on the relationships that are intertwined into those bonds.
There are going to be many days when a staff person will have to weigh in their own minds if they want to do exactly what the doctor said or if they want to change it up just a little bit to try to make things a little more palatable for a fellow staff person. In my own practice I have seen that some of my protocols haven’t been carried out the way that I had wanted even after specific instructions. When I would question the staff person who had not done things the way I wanted, I found that if those orders had been carried out to the letter, then another person in the office would have likely gotten upset. For example, I had a policy that I wanted a couple of rooms set aside for doctor’s work only so that when things got hectic in the evenings and the hygienists inevitably got a little behind, that I would still have rooms to work in more significant dentistry. I had hoped that this would also speed up my hygienists so that they wouldn’t run behind in the first place. Well, in theory, that was a good idea. In practice, my front office was seeing that the hygienists were still running behind and she was unwilling to change the way she scheduled to accommodate for this due to a different incongruent policy. Then, when my assistants would come and get clinical patients who had been waiting for less time than the hygiene patients, my front office workers perceived that they were getting “dirty looks” from the hygiene patients. They may or may not have been, but they became very adamant that the hygiene patients be seated in any room available when it was their appointment time. After trying to adhere to the new policy for awhile, my clinical assistants began sneaking hygiene patients into these rooms that we were supposed to be saving for work-in dentistry. I didn’t notice for quite a while, but one afternoon I caught on to this. That evening I asked my clinical team leader if there was a problem with my new policy. She said that she knew she wasn’t doing what I had asked and that she took full responsibility. When I asked why, she said that it just wasn’t worth the stress that the policy was causing the front office.
Was this my fault? Was it my staff’s fault? Who knows?
One thing for sure is that I hadn’t fully considered every angle before I had brought forth my new policy.
You see, staff members operate on a different set of rules than we would wish. A secret set of rules. Once we unlock the secret, we can experience practice growth like we never imagined.
Once you discover the secrets that your staff members are hiding, you can break down the barriers that have sapped productivity and caused squabbling in your practice for so long. One of the greatest findings of Dr. Griffin during his consultation with dental practices has been that once everyone is aware of the few little things that have been nagging at them, they can resolve longstanding issues and enjoy fun, profitable growth to superstar levels. You can get your free CD explaining the 5 most common Staff Secrets at http://www.dentalstaffsecrets.com.