Blatchford Article

Flourishing in Changing Times: Some good ways to handle dental team selection

May 6, 2013
It's imperative that the leader build the best team possible for the dental pracitce

Your team speaks volumes about who you are, your skills, your standards of care, and your dreams. Having an accountable and well-trained team is as critical to practice success as taking continuing education courses.

Your team is a measure of your vision. If your vision is ill defined or absent, team members will do their own thing, at their own pace, and with their own standards. If the leader’s vision or dream is well defined and communicated, team members can follow you and become committed to the practice’s dream. They will contribute ideas, programs, and protocols on their own. They will demonstrate their commitment to the practice’s success, and the best ones will encourage their fellow teammates to measure up. The real team players will eventually leave if you allow someone who does not meet your standards to continue employment. Where does that leave you, the leader?

How do you find these team members? They may already have a position in your community, perhaps not in dentistry. You will notice they have a positive attitude, they are a giver, and they go the extra step. You should approach these stars and ask if they would like to interview with you for a position.

Place an ad online. You want your team to be computer literate, so where would the most qualified people be looking for work? They will probably be searching online help wanted sites. Be more right-brained in your appeal, using words such as energy, self-starter, imagine, communicate, and fulfilling patient dreams.

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Eliminate any responses with misspelling and grammatical errors. Also, watch for responses that are all about them and say nothing about their contribution to the practice. Absolutely check references and ask, “Would you work with this person again?”

Arrange a working interview and ask the person specifically to do a certain task or follow a simple script. Have your team members or best patients involved in the selection process.

Once someone has passed these tests, integrate them into the team immediately. When selected, welcome them by providing a uniform and include them in the bonus. Continually work on cross training. Take them to your continuing education classes. Make them feel an important part of the team by asking for their contributions and ideas. Give specific compliments and compliment them when you see them doing something right.

Just when you feel you have the magic team, someone will probably need to move. Team selection is an ongoing process and requires action. Your strong vision is the guide.

Dr. Bill Blatchford, America’s premier dental business coach, is CEO of Blatchford Solutions. He coaches dentists of all ages to be more profitable and efficient while taking more time away to rejuvenate. His next book, “The Boomer Dentist,” with Jeff Griswold, a financial planner, will be available in April. Dr. Blatchford can be reached at (888) 977-4600 and at [email protected].