The office team is, in many ways, the most important part of the entire dental practice. Everything that makes a practice operate efficiently, from collections and scheduling to case presentation, depends on a smoothly running team. Motivated and well-trained staff make for more efficient patient care, and can reduce the stresses on the dentist exponentially.
The problem is that not everyone you hire will be a fit for the team. While dental schools spend a lot of time teaching clinical skills, most do not even touch on the office management side of a practice, and this often leaves dentists in a bind from the start. A successful dental office has staff that are motivated, that are team players, and that have a sense of satisfaction that encourages them to stay for years. Fortunately, there are techniques to employ that will ensure a smooth running dental office team.
Train Specifically for Your Office
When a new employee is hired train them on all processes and equipment necessary for their job - but don’t stop there. Each dentist runs his practice in a way unique to his or her own personality, experiences and education. Training employees not only to do what is necessary, but also to take account of the little nuances that make the office unique, is imperative. What makes your practice special to you should be special to your staff as well. This builds loyalty and motivates employees to be proud of their job.
You can’t expect a new employee to learn everything in a day. They also can’t perform jobs they don’t know how to perform. Something that seems like common sense to you, may not be so to someone who has never worked in a dental or office environment. It’s imperative to train thoroughly and with adequate time to integrate a learning curve.
Hire Competent Staff
Running an ad in the paper or starting an account with the local employment service is a fine idea, but make sure your qualifications are listed, and make sure to do a complete interview before make any hiring choices. Anyone can say they have office or dental experience but it’s quite another thing to prove it. One idea is to hire directly from colleges. Place help wanted ads in school student areas. During the interview process, make sure to ask if they have experience in office work, and always check references.
Employ a 90 Day Trial Period
Even the most perfect new hire can go sour. There are a lot of shady people in this world, and many of them can con an employer as fast as a car salesman. Using a 90 day trial period ensures you hired the person you think you did - with the skills they claimed they had.
Finally, performance reviews; these can motivate employees like nothing else. Be it a pay rise, days off or vacation time, a bonus for good performance is something employees will strive for. Be specific about what goals must be reached to achieve the bonus, and how often the reviews will take place. The better the bonus, the harder they will try to achieve it!
Put some or all of these tips into practice and you should see an improvement in your team as well as an increase in your overall efficiency.