Every CEO and business owner knows that holding on to great team members is a critical success factor. Of course, practices will have turnover from time to time, but that can be managed with well-documented systems, step-by-step instructions, and scripting. However, one of the best ways to improve staff performance is to maintain a long-term team of high-performing members. Let’s look at five ways you can hold on to great staff members and increase longevity of staff.
Create and promote the practice vision
Unfortunately, dental practices don’t offer much opportunity for advancement or upward mobility. It’s highly unlikely that most dental assistants will move into other positions, and the same is true for the rest of the team. So, how can you motivate your team?You can create a practice vision. People like to belong to something bigger than themselves, and they don’t come to work every day just to do the same thing over and over. Creating a vision for the future and discussing it often gives your team members an understanding of what they belong to, where the practice is going, and how they can contribute. When a team is galvanized around a common goal, this creates a better team and people become more committed, which means they are more likely to stay.
Demonstrate high levels of appreciation
The first way to show appreciation to your team is, of course, monetarily. In fact, many offices have found that a highly compensated staff often results in the need for one less team member, as team members perform at such a high level that someone becomes superfluous. In addition to proper monetary compensation, having regular out-of-office activities, surprises such as days off, tickets to key events, or a trip or dinner to celebrate the practice’s five-, 10-, or 15-year anniversary are all great ways to keep the team motivated and on board. Daily compliments are also very beneficial to demonstrate appreciation for a job well done.
Provide opportunities for team members to improve in their jobs
Continuing education is just as important for the dental team as it is for dentist. While CE is mandatory for maintaining a dental license, it should also be mandatory for practices that want to keep their teams long-term. If you have the right team members, they will enjoy learning and growing. Providing them with those opportunities will stimulate them, which will contribute to their desire to remain with the practice.
Create a fun environment
Levin Group has consulted with thousands of practices and the easiest ones to work with are those that are having a good time. You walk in the door and you get a sense of energy, positive attitude, and fun vibe. You also get a sense that the staff really wants to be there, really likes the patients, and enjoys the interpersonal interaction. Those practices are truly fun and very successful.
Finally, don’t be afraid to develop friendships with your team. I fully believe that it’s possible to manage a person and be their friend at the same time. This may be one of the best ways to keep your team on board.
ROGER P. LEVIN, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world.To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].