Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted to office manager of your dental practice. What happens next? It is not uncommon for dentists to promote from within and make their dental assistant or receptionist an office manager. While you may have years of experience in the dental field, have you ever received formal management training that was geared for dental practices? And even if you’ve had management training, a good refresher is always a good idea, especially if you can earn continuing education credits.
Advanced training in management is not limited to those who are new to managing a dental practice. It is also recommended for any managers or dentists who feel they need additional training in employee relations, solving conflict, motivating the team, and basic human resources.
The Warschaw Learning Institute now offers a course called “Advance Dental Management.” This new course touches on all the aspects of management that are usually not offered in a beginning dental management course. The course, worth 20 CE credits, allows experienced dental management professionals and dentists the ability to learn online the more advanced aspects of managing a dental practice.
The most important part of becoming an office manager is knowing how to handle employee relations. Solving conflict will be a major part of your new position, and you need to be able to effectively and efficiently handle anything that may be thrown your way. Many times this area is neglected in the dental practice, and there is a lack of formal training that can lead to management issues. Does your office have an employee manual? Do you have proper disciplinary system in place? Do you provide performance evaluations on a regular basis? These are systems that need to be in place to assist you in establishing a successful human resource department.
Effectively managing your team
A dental practice is made of many personality types, and recognizing the different personalities in your practice will help you better manage your team. Who wants a team made up of the same personality type? Each team member brings something to your practice to make it unique and help level out the playing field, so to speak. Differences are good, but not knowing how to manage those differences can lead to conflict.
The employees in a dental practice should not be just employees; they should be members of a team and be treated as such. It is important to show team appreciation and motivate your team to become accountable for the success of your practice. This could be having team appreciation functions, goal-based bonus systems, or team reward systems. Your dental team should be working together and treating the practice as though it is their own business. It is the responsibility of the manager to motivate and make them accountable for the success of the practice!
Being a successful manager is not just about how much you know in the dental field; you also need knowledge in human resources and effectively managing people. Sometimes without additional training, you may struggle in certain areas that can lead to management issues down the line.
For more information on “Advance Dental Management,” including registration, please visit the Warschaw Learning Institute at www.warschawlearninginstitute.com and use the coupon DIQ15 when registering for a 15% discount on all of our August courses (valid until Aug. 31, 2012).
Michelle Feierabend-Parish has been in the dental field for more than 20 years. She started out as an orthodontic assistant, then worked in management at a corporate dental company overseeing multiple offices. Over the past five years, she has been employed at Cuyahoga Community Corporate College in Cleveland, Ohio, as an instructor for their dental management program, a program which she helped develop. In December 2011, Michelle accepted a position as an instructor with the Warschaw Learning Institute. She has also taught and developed courses in diversity and customer service. Michelle has worked as an independent consultant for private dental offices assisting dentists with accounts receivable and administrative training. Michelle majored in cultural anthropology at the University of Akron and values the importance of diversity and customer service training, enabling her to combine her education and work experience to educate others. She can be contacted by email at [email protected].