August 2, 2018
By Trude Henderson
In his article, “Motivating Employees Should be One of a Leader’s Top Priorities” (Forbes, June 20, 2017), Willian Craig points out four key ways to motivate staff. You will find them below, accompanied by our suggestions tailored to the requirements of a dental/orthodontic practice:
Try it and see what happens!
High-performing dental/orthodontic practices, especially those who are on a quest to achieve High-Reliability, should consider holding strategic brainstorming meetings or retreats at least once a year, so that they can collaboratively plan for the future, especially ways to add more value to the practice. We often remind dental practice leaders that, “If you aren’t thinking about the future, then you’re already behind!” These get-togethers offer the potential for tremendously positive effects on your practice, including invoking excitement about the future, identifying and reinforcing best practices and desired behaviors, building team spirit, improving communication and rewarding good work, just to name a few.
Remember, though, to periodically remind staff at huddles and frequent cross-team meetings to keep these values and ideas fresh in their minds. Furthermore, you shouldn’t wait for a once-a year-meeting or event to come around to explore via discussions with staff and doctors the value your practice has to offer patients. Set aside some time, a working lunch for example, and ask them to help you create a list of values and ‘value statements’ that can be utilized not only in daily conversations with patients, but in advertising. Value statements help place value in a context that patients can understand. Include values that relate to the practice itself and treatment options that the practice offers, then ask yourself, “Can we do anything to add more value?” There are probably a number of such things, so be sure to promote a safe environment where people will feel free to speak up.
If the values aren’t specifically defined by dental practice leaders, staff will define them on their own, often with disastrous results for both the practice and the patient experience. ToothFairy’s pilot study found that those practices failing to properly define, communicate and model values functioned poorly because staff wasted a lot of time trying to figure out what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. This, in turn, led to many formal and informal procedural inconsistencies that transferred directly into shortcomings in the patient experience.
A call to action: Make "employee engagement" a top priority in your dental practice today! We will continue this discussion of how your dental/orthodontic practice can best promote employee engagement in our next blog, which will focus on an article by a different author, with a different perspective. To read Craig’s piece in its entirety, please click here.
Read our other articles on topics such as Leadership, Operational Excellence and High-Reliability Concepts:
Ten Steps You Can Take Right Away to Improve the Reliability of Your Dental Practice
High-Reliability Concepts: Insights of Value to any organization.
Trude Henderson is the co-founder of ToothFairy, a startup elective dental and medical practice improvement software company which delivers an unparalleled customer experience that inspires delight, loyalty and positive emotional connections to improve the lives of patients and the practices they visit. In 2016, she was the first to introduce High-Reliability Organizational Concepts to the dental industry. For questions, contact her directly at Trude@GetToothFairy.com. Follow Trude on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trudehenderson/ (no email required).
Go to ToothFairy's website: www.ToothFairySoftware.com.
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