Does your team function as well as you know it could? Do you wish you could motivate your team to provide the best patient care possible? Do you want your team members to take their jobs as seriously as you take yours?
You’re not alone.
Studies conducted by Gallup, Dale Carnegie, Harvard University, and Towers Watson agree that fewer than 40% of employees are truly engaged at work. That means that an average employee team is only really working at 60-70% of their capacity. And if your team is only performing at 60-70% of their capacity, that represents a tremendous cost to you and to your practice, in terms of stress, productivity, and your bottom line.
The same studies report that when employees leave, “they don’t quit the company, they quit the boss.” Employees don’t want “managers,” they want leaders. And when they don’t get the leadership they crave, they quit.
The secret to creating a team of fully engaged, highly motivated, and well-functioning loyal employees lies in your ability to lead them.
Here are four essential leadership qualities your team secretly wants from you:
Communicate clearly and effectively.
A strong leader is approachable, and knows how to communicate clearly, effectively, and responsibly. Share your expectations, express your appreciation, coach for improvement, and listen effectively to employee concerns or suggestions. Confront challenges directly, yet respectfully. Work with your team to teach effective communication and conflict resolution skills. Demonstrate, through your own communication behavior, how you expect your team to communicate with one another and with your patients.
Express your passion for what you do.
People want to work for someone who obviously loves what they do, and the enthusiasm you bring to your job every day is contagious. Be open and let your team (and your patients) see – and share — your commitment, passion, and excitement about your profession. After all, what you do is important. You make a real difference in people’s lives, healing their pain, and improving their health. Share that commitment to making a difference with your team, and show your appreciation when they demonstrate their own passion.
Focus on the Team
Everyone on your team, from the front desk to the hygienist, from the bookkeeper to the dentist, is there to fulfill an important role in the success of your practice. Each team member has unique strengths, contributions, and abilities to contribute to the whole. But to function, a team needs a focus bigger than any one team member as an individual. Your job as a leader is to provide the vision, the “big picture” and keep the team motivated to achieve your goals. Celebrate victories as a team. Analyze and learn from losses as a team. Look for opportunities to help your team members develop the skills that can transform their performance.
Be confident and decisive.
As the owner or manager of your practice, your team looks to you as the ultimate “decider.” But part of being a good leader is realizing that making good decisions isn’t completely dependent on you. Consider how much time and effort each decision is worth, who else needs to be involved in the decision, and how soon you need an answer, before making decisions arbitrarily or quickly. After all, some decisions are more critical, or more complicated, than others and require input and perspective from the individual team members. Some decisions can be easily reversed, while some may have larger consequences for getting it wrong. Good decision-making doesn’t always require speed, but it involves pushing toward your decisions in a way that makes your team feel confident, included, and heard.
Developing leadership skills is an exciting journey, and we’d love to help you lead your practice to greater success. Contact our office today to explore ways you can improve your own skills, and give your team the leadership they crave.
If you are ready to take the next step towards success in your business, contact us for a complimentary practice assessment.