Imagine showing up at work every morning absolutely in love with your support team.
They take initiative to provide 5-star customer service not only to your patients, but to you, and to one another. They treat your patients like cherished friends or family members. They are thrilled to be working right here, right now, for you. From the receptionist to the bookkeeper, the hygienist to your partner, every single one of them is happy at work: they love their jobs, and wouldn’t think of working anywhere or for anyone else.
Imagine yourself supported by a team of “superstars.”
As a dental practice owner or manager, motivating your team and inspiring them to be their best is one of the most important aspects of your job, second only to treating your patients. A superstar team can make the difference between a practice that’s just getting by and a practice that’s growing and thriving.
To create that team of superstars who are a delight to work with, here are some simple, cost-effective, and easy-to-implement strategies you can begin using right away
1. Be the leader people want to follow.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
A high-performing team doesn’t happen in a vacuum – it starts at the top, with you. Lead in a way that makes it easy for others to follow you. Set the right example with your own behavior, integrity, and ethics. Do you want your team to be friendly? Be friendly. Do you want them to be honest? Be honest. Do you want respect from them? Then be respectful to them. By modeling the behavior you expect to see from your team, it will be easier for them to reflect it in their work. Being a fine example costs you nothing, and with time, will contribute to a more functional, healthy team.
2. Get to know your team members as people.
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” – Carl Jung
If you want to bring out the best in people, you must first understand who they are and what makes them tick. it’s essential to realize that the people who work for and with you are individuals, with their own individual responses to praise, criticism, reward, recognition, and conflict. Each has a preferred style of communication, is motivated or de-motivated by certain incentives, and has a preferred approach to solving problems, Insightful, effective managers take the time to explore the differences, and discover ways of interacting with each team member in the most effective ways.
Consider conducting a survey with your team such as the Meyers-Briggs (MBTI® model) or the DiSC® inventory, which can help you and your team members better understand how to work together. Many professional personality test models exist online, and simple models can be used free of charge. Using such a model can help you and your team understand not only your own particular personalities, but how they play into the dynamics of the team.
3. Communicate your expectations
“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.” – Brian Tracy
Regularly and clearly communicate the expectations you hold for yourself and your team members, regarding both day-to-day operations and formal job performance objectives. When you are clear about your performance standards and the rationale behind them, your team is better equipped to live up to your expectations, and will gain competence and confidence as those expectations are met.
4. Support your team’s career ambitions
“Interdependent people combine their own efforts with the efforts of others to achieve their greatest success.” – Stephen Covey
Show a genuine interest in each team member’s individual career ambitions, listen to their needs, and help them when you can. With your active support, they can not only gain the skills they need to achieve their goals, they will also be far more loyal to you and the team. Don’t just wait for the annual appraisal – although that’s important – be sure to communicate regularly about their individual goals, ambitions, and desires and you will develop a happy, motivated and loyal team.
5. Constructive feedback
“Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.” – Bill Bradley
Constructive feedback is regular, insightful, candid, communication that neither avoids the difficult nor ignores the positive. Constructive feedback addresses specific behavior, not the individual person. When a team member misses the mark, makes a mistake, or doesn’t meet a performance standard, you must let them know, in precise terms, in private, what they did, how it affected the situation, and what you expect next time that situation occurs. When the team member corrects his or her behavior, constructive feedback acts as a request for more of the same: a “thank you,” “well done,” or “good job” reinforces your correction. Likewise, when employees perform well or exceed your standards and expectations, be as specific as possible and acknowledge what they did right. Often a written thank you or note of praise, or a public acknowledgement can be highly motivating and inspiring to other team members.
Turning your staff into a team of high-performing superstars requires making sure you’re communicating clearly, being the kind of leader you’d like to follow, treating your team members with respect, and being consistent with your management and supervision every single working day.
Your staff will become inspired, motivated, and grateful – and your patients will appreciate the caring, supportive environment you and your team of superstars create.
If you’re ready to supercharge your practice, you don’t have to do it alone – get in touch, and let us help.