Easy question: what is dentistry’s No. 1 problem today? If your practice is like most, it’s finding and keeping great team members!
Challenging question: what’s the No. 1 reason for this dental staffing issue? If you’re like most dentists, you’d rather be liked, then trusted and respected. Hear me out. It’s not a knock. It’s just a leadership lesson most of us were never taught. Continue reading for three steps to hiring and retaining dental practice team members.
1. Define the win
As a dental practice owner, when you and I assume a new team member knows what we consider a win, we’re making a big assumption. When you and I are worried about a new team liking us, defining the win becomes a challenge.
Think about how much you’ve learned since coming out of dental school. Think about what is intuitive today, that just a few years ago was a struggle. Now think about cutting that knowledge in half because the COVID-19 pandemic cut your experiences in half.
I know what you’re thinking… “I’ve had seasoned team members who couldn’t get it right.” Part of me understands that. Most of me knows this. Our practices are different. Our goals are different. What you and I would consider a win can be very different. Stop assuming. Take the time to define your win; when we show every member of our team the steps and help them understand the why, we all get more of what we want. And when we get more of what we want, work is a lot less work and team members stay at your practice!
2. Create systems for accountability
Accountability. We need it everywhere. We dodge it, why? We like to be liked. It’s human nature. But does that ever really work?
Positive news flash: If you deliver on step one and define your win, you’ve already accomplished the first half of accountability. The second half is all about building your system to make this happen all the time. Your ability to stay consistent creates your culture. And as famed management consultant and writer Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
3. Reward excellent behavior
Every practice has superstars; your goal is to build an entire team of superstars.
Is that challenging?
It is. When we want to be liked — and this is where the win, followed by accountability, followed by the reward comes in — we tend to under reward our stars because we’re worried someone’s feelings will get hurt or when one person doesn’t measure up, we give the talk to the entire team.
Think of the message that sends to your superstars and your underachievers!
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I am saying it’s going to be worth it. Stop the generic people liking and start the excellent people rewarding.
Here’s a hard truth: People don’t leave for an extra 25 cents an hour. People leave people.
If you’re ready to stop wanting to be liked and start building real trust and respect, click here.
We’ve built a great 1-hour CE course for you. The bonus being because Patterson Dental appreciates you so much, they’ve foot the bill for you.
About the author
David R. Rice, DDS, is the founder of the nation’s largest student and new dentist community, igniteDDS. Dr. Rice travels the world speaking and connecting today’s top young dentists with tomorrow’s most successful dental practices. In addition to igniteDDS, Dr. Rice maintains a team-centered restorative and implant practice in East Amherst, N.Y.
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