Author's note: Levin Group has reviewed and prioritized hundreds of strategies to increase practice production. Each month, we highlight a powerful idea ranked in order of priority.
In a current research study, I have identified more than 200 ways to increase practice production, many of which I share in this column each month. Nowhere in the list was the word “motivation.” It didn't make the list simply because it isn't possible to measure how successfully motivating your dental team will increase practice production. However, after 38 years of working in practice management, I can say with great confidence that a motivated team performs better, and a team that performs better increases practice production. I wish I could give you an exact measurement or number because that would motivate more dentists to motivate their teams.
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In my firm’s 30-year ongoing study on top 10% performing practices, we continually found that the vast majority of top practices have highly motivated teams. But how do you measure motivation? It may be slightly unscientific, but when you meet these teams, they are positive, energized, focused, and have what we call “ownership mentality.” This means that these teams come in in the morning and run the office doing their jobs with great competency and enthusiasm, pitch in to help whenever they can, and have a complete understanding of the practice’s overall goals. In other words, they operate as if they own the place. In some cases, bonuses were in place that helped to keep team members motivated. In others, it was higher-than-average compensation. But overall, in these practices, we believe that motivation emanates directly from the doctor and relies heavily on his or her leadership skills.
Treat staff like customers
So, how do you motivate your team? Levin Group believes that you should adopt the philosophy of treating the team like customers. In fact, we are encouraging practices to design annual customer service plans for the team that include fun surprises, events, team-building activities, and bonuses. Plan it out, schedule it out, and carry it out.Can I state with certainty that if you motivate your team your production will rise? Yes, I believe I can.
Editor's note: This article appeared in the November 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles, and he regularly presents seminars in the US and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected].