2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

Running a dental practice is a team effort but, as dentists, sometimes it feels like we’re doing all the work. The reality is, that’s not the case. In fact, your practice wouldn’t be as amazing as it is without your team members contributing greatly. Your practice might not feel amazing right now. But with a few simple shifts, you can experience incredible growth and fulfillment. 

While these challenges are important to overcome in any environment, now is an even better time to help get them done. The covid-19 crisis, and the resulting pause to our practices, gives us an unprecedented opportunity. During this pause, work on putting simple strategies in place to come back stronger and with an even more productive and motivated team.

Here are two daily challenges many practice owners express and how to solve them.

“My team member isn’t getting done what I want them to get done on a daily basis.”

 

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

 

With this one, sometimes the cure is a dose of hard truth. When this feeling comes up, are you sure the issue is with the team member? To find out, ask yourself, “What did I not do to make this person as good as they could possibly be in their position?”

Oftentimes, frustrations cause us to only focus on a team member's mistakes. That causes us to think about taking measures to replace them. When that happens we need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remember the value of that team member. They’ve surely done a lot of amazing things for your practice. If not, it's possible they need to be transitioned out to protect the rest of your team. But many team members just need better direction and management from us.

A great way to point your team member in a better direction, and ensure they get done what you want them to get done, is to create a task list. Reprioritize their responsibilities. When you do this, you might even realize that your current expectations are unrealistic. You might be asking them to do too many things. You might be asking them to do low-value tasks that cause high-value tasks to go undone. Or, you might ask them to do things that are too difficult for them to do.

Create a realistic, prioritized task list that has your team member focusing first on what you want them to get done every day. That way, they’ll get the high-value items complete first. They’ll also be much happier and motivated. They aren’t being given a daily list of duties that leaves them feeling unproductive and overwhelmed.

“My team members aren’t implementing my processes.”

 

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

 

When you strive to deliver a WOW experience to patients, you’re going to do unconventional things. You'll hand patients warm towels when they come in or offer them gourmet coffee. You might spend a whole lot of money to get all these processes put in place. And then you might get annoyed when you realize your team members aren’t giving the patients what you want them to give them.

If your team members aren’t implementing your processes, educate them as to why they need to put those processes in place. To use the example of handing out warm towels, explain that patients come back to your practice for the experience rather than the dentistry. Talk about how this motivates people to get dental care they need and improve their health. Your team will be more motivated knowing handing out towels helps people avoid big health issues in the future. All of your processes can be tied to a motivating positive outcome. Your team members will begin to see the importance of them. 

Motivate them further by telling them that increased productivity will result in an increased bottom line, which will result in them getting bigger bonuses. Dangling the carrot of a big bonus is an incentive many dentists use when trying to get the best work from their team.

What issues are you having that we can help you with?

 

2 Daily Team Member Challenges and How to Solve Them Now

 

Are your team members regularly completing their tasks or following procedures? If not, ask yourself whether a shift in the way you lead them is the answer. And try these tweaks to the way you lead them. They might be just what you need to take your practice to new heights.

If you want more help with building a WOW practice, join the Delivering WOW Platinum Coaching Program where you can access top training and coaching from experts in all facets of running a high-growth dental practice.

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

A while back I came home from the office, and my daughter asked me to pick her up some lunch. I went into a coffee shop and ordered her a ham and cheese panini.

While I was waiting for the panini, my daughter’s ballet instructor came up to me. She had seen my daughter in a dance show from another school and wanted to tell me how great a job she did.

My daughter has been dancing for about twelve years and goes to two dance schools. In her ballet class, she is not being challenged. She gets frustrated by that and is always making up excuses for why she can’t dance.

On the other hand, she is always challenged at her other school. Each class is more challenging than the last. But my daughter never makes excuses for why she can’t dance with the more challenging classes. She always dances. In fact, she has even won a prestigious award for her performance with this class.

When her ballet instructor saw how well my daughter danced for the other class, she was surprised.

I told the instructor that my daughter loves dance but she does not feel challenged in her current class and gets bored. I suggested she challenge her a bit more or move her up a class to get her to perform at a higher level.

The instructor told me she had no idea my daughter had that in her because she never shows up performing at 100% for her class.

The same happens all the time in the dental world. Recently in one of my coaching programs, a team member expressed that she wanted more responsibility at work. We coach both doctors and team members because we know how important it is for everyone to grow. This team member was getting frustrated because they were not given more responsibility. It happens all the time. Many times, team members leave for other opportunities when that could have been avoided.

Here are two ways dental team members can set themselves up to earn more responsibility.

Examine how you show up to work.

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

 

Do you show up to work on time? Do you dress professionally? Do you take initiative? Do you work hard when you are at work? Do you run out the door at the exact time your shift ends?

All of these things send a message to the practice leader. If you show up late, wear wrinkled clothes, complain all day, and then sprint out the door the second the clock hits quitting time, you will likely not be there very long.

If you show up on time, dressed well, work hard while you are at work, and stay late if needed, you will likely open doors for tremendous growth.

Neither of those scenarios mentioned pedigree or intelligence. They mentioned how you show up to work and what you do when you get there. Those two things will help you earn more responsibility much more predictably than anything else.

Offer to take on new projects.

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

 

If a team member wants to work her way up in the practice, she could approach the doctor with a new project she would like to lead. It might be a new marketing campaign. Or, it could be an operational issue such as offering to create a process or system for something in the project. That initiative will go a long way toward earning more responsibility.

Identifying something that can be improved and offering to do the work to make the improvement is a great way to let the doctor know you are ready for more responsibility.

Are you setting yourself up to earn more responsibility?

 

How to Earn More Responsibility in a Dental Practice

 

We all want the same thing in business. We all want to be recognized and acknowledged for who we are and what we do. And we all want to be challenged at work or we will quickly get bored.

If you are a dental team member, take a look at how you are showing up to work. Are you showing up in a way that instills confidence in others? If not, simply showing up on time—every time—is a good start. Then identify something in the office you think you can improve. Ask the doctor if she is okay with you doing that.

If you are a dentist, what can you do to encourage your team to earn more responsibility? Could you reward and recognize them for showing up early to work and taking the initiative to suggest a new project? What do you do to encourage your team to work hard and take initiative?

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

When your team sees the vision and an action plan to grow the practice, that’s when they begin to step up and earn advancement opportunities. That begins today with your decision to invest in your practice’s growth. If you’re ready to make that decision, your best next step is to join our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge! See what other practices had to say here.