It is not their business. Literally, your dental practice is your business, not your employees. So please stop expecting them to treat it is like their own, because them working for you is always based on conditions. And they do know that if they left, you would just replace them (you would, don’t lie).
Now, this does NOT mean that you can’t create a dynamic team, that takes amazing care of your patients, and works hard for you to see your vision come to life. A team that can potentially stay working for you for many, many years.
Just because it is not their business, does not mean that they can’t have ownership of their job and work with you more as partners, rather than employees.
There is so much to do daily in a dental office. From greeting patients, to answering phones, dentists bouncing between treatment and exams, hygienists struggling to see their patients in the allotted time, assistants helping pretty much everyone, a day in the life of a dntal office can be a lot. Having a team that works together like a perfect cheer team is ideal, and it is that type of team that will make sure patients are scheduled, taken care of, supplies are ordered, advertising is handled and so much more, which all means that your job as OWNER, becomes way easier.
So how do you get these “employees” to become “invested” and work “with you“, not just for you? Well here are my 6 steps to getting teams to be my partners!
1. Be the leader, and set the example daily for how you want patients to be interacted with and for staff to interact with each other. If you want patients to be greeted with enthusism, then you need to do that. My dad taught me a lot about leadership. He always reminded me that it didn’t matter what role I played, if the toilets needed cleaning, then I needed to clean them.
If you walk into your lobby, take a minute to straighten up. Be proactive and call patients, check in with them. All the things you want done, well you need to be the first one to do them.
2. Learn what makes each employee (team member) feel appreciated or valued. Things like The 5 Love Languages for Business is great. Learning what is important to each indiviual person is a graet way to find out what motivates them. (FYI, it’s not all about money!)
3. Get their ideas and let them take the lead! Does someone have a great event idea? Does it align with your mission? What does it hurt to try? Letting your tream members take the lead on projects, ownership for how they do their job and using their ideas is a great way for them to feel more like this office is “theirs”.
4. Recognize in public, reprimand in private. NEVER, I reapeat NEVER yell at, criticize or reprimand any employee in front of others. It is always better to find a way to talk in private, and use this as a coaching time.
5. Create an amazing culture for your team. Give to them, serve them, make them your priority and they will make your business their priority. Bring lunch in once a week, or close the office one day and send them all out to lunch. Bring in donuts. The list is endless. The culture you create will translate in a positive way.
6. I will say it again – Lead By Example!! If you want your employees to say good things about each other, then you need to say good things about them. People will follow a good leader, so be a great one. Invest in leadership trainings, books and webinars. Think about great leaders you have had, what did they do that was so good?
Team and employees will always be the biggest headache in an office, unless you become a great leader. If you are struggling with turnover, employees not doing what you feel they should be doing, low morale and more, I would suggest taking a really hard look at you as a leader (and fix it)!