By Art Deden
Attracting, hiring, and retaining the best, brightest, and most productive team members is not an easy task for dentists — or any mere mortal! Even in situations where there is a vast supply of candidates, there is also a high percentage of individuals who do not have the capability, commitment, or chemistry to match your practice culture or practice objectives. Therefore, it is essential that the dentist take the time to attract the best candidates and, even more importantly, retain the best and the brightest.
Here are a few tips you should consider:
Don't let performance appraisals get in the way of performance feedback! Regardless of the effectiveness and frequency (or if you do it at all) of your performance appraisals process, "people management" is an ongoing process of feedback, recognition, and coaching — with LOTS of opportunities occurring on a daily/weekly basis.
Invest in continuing education. Devoting time and resources to developing team members (and yourself) will provide significant and sustained results. When you deal with competing priorities, it’s often easy to adopt a "we'll do it tomorrow" perspective. But as we all know, sometimes tomorrow never comes.
Make new-hire orientation a recruitment strategy. Yes, you've already attracted and selected these teammates. But remember that they have friends and professional associates. How they are treated at every stage of employment — particularly their initial experience with your team and your practice — can influence their willingness to "market" your practice to their friends, family members, etc.
Draw a line in the dirt and stop hiring individuals who don't clearly demonstrate values such as integrity, respect, responsibility, etc. You cannot "train" these qualities; they are inherent (or not) in every individual.
Last suggestion ... Hire only those people who you believe can help take your practice to the next level. They have to possess that mojo that helps other team members become BETTER team members.
Having the "right" team is more important than you know. A subpar team will only give you stress, heartaches, and financial ruin. And then, when you have the "right" team, make sure you do everything you can to keep them!
Art Deden is a skilled practice management educator who doesn’t just talk about growth — he lives it. He understands what works, what doesn’t, and why. His “nuts and bolts” approach to practice management helps dental practices optimize their resources and improve patient satisfaction. To learn more about Art and Vista Practice Management, email him at [email protected].
By Art Deden