Keeping your dream team happy

It may seem like the ever elusive question: “How do I find the right people and keep them happy and productive?” But it is possible, and with some thought, focus, and careful action, you can refine this until it truly is a mastered skill.

It may seem like the ever elusive question: “How do I find the right people and keep them happy and productive?” But it is possible, and with some thought, focus, and careful action, you can refine this until it truly is a mastered skill.

My team of consultants and I have noticed several key things in our combined years of consulting and speaking that do not work well, so do your best to eliminate them from your practice environment:

1. Angry outbursts/lack of emotional control
2. Embarrassing a team member in front of patients or co-workers
3. Inadequate compensation
4. Never accepting anything as “good enough”
5. Emotional roller coasters
6. Changing things for no reason without announcement or without team involvement
7. Tolerating inappropriate behavior
8. Failing to recognize the importance of each team member to the whole
9. Encouraging hierarchy
10. No extras, no special treatment
11. Fear-based management
12. Hovering and clipping wings
13. Poor communication, inability to confront
14. Avoiding confronting problems
15. Covering over your own or other people’s mistakes
16. Letting some team member’s performance slip (which has a negative effect on others) and not dealing with it because you fear that person will leave

Here’s a challenge for you. Copy this article and have your team rate your office environment in these areas. You have to identify and embrace the realities of the current situation before you can make progress in truly keeping your dental dream team happy.

Just as there are things we’ve found that don’t work well, we’ve also identified things that are effective! So, try implementing these actions in a consistent manner. I promise there is value if you contemplate each of these things and do your best to find their true meaning. I’m shaving years off your learning curve!

1. Incentive bonus
2. Statements and actions which express appreciation
3. Involvement
4. Trust
5. Respect
6. Admiration
7. Team members feeling proud, special, upper crust
8. Openness about problems, as well as work well done
9. Integrity and commitment
10. Continuous improvement
11. Sharing in the rewards of work well done
12. Clear definition of systems and expectations
13. Celebrating an accomplishment and giving credit where credit is due
14. Horizontal versus hierarchical management
15. Expected and unexpected awards
16. Stepping back and letting people soar
17. Excellent communication - professional conversations and conferences when necessary
18. Dealing with problems immediately and professionally
19. Holding fast to standards of excellence
20. Being honest and open when you make a mistake - saying “I’m sorry”
21. Being able to say, “I don’t know, but I will find out.” Then, do it.

Never assume your opinion is the same as that of your dental team. Listen to them. See what they think about these questions and how many of them make them chuckle in embarrassment, roll their eyes, or tense up as common chords and points of familiarity are brought up.

If you haven’t already done so, establish the vision of the practice and design a strategic plan of action for accomplishing these goals. Then, study communication skills. Vision, goals, and communication are the foundation for team-building and practice development. With this foundation carefully laid, you can begin a successful journey of practice growth and enhancement.

Unified vision and goals; surrounding yourself with superstars; establishing position responsibilities; activating a plan; leadership and accountability; compensation and more all come into play. Use these checklists to discuss what works and what doesn’t. Assess where you are and start taking steps toward your dream team’s ideal environment.

Dr. Cathy Jameson is president and CEO of Jameson Management, Inc., an international dental practice-management consulting, lecturing, seminar, and product provider. An accomplished speaker, writer, and workshop leader, Cathy earned a doctorate in organizational psychology, focusing her studies on effective stress-controlled management. Cathy’s books, “Great Communication = Great Production” and “Collect What You Produce,” are top sellers for PennWell Books. You may reach Cathy toll-free at (877) 369-5558, e-mail her at cathy@jamesonmanagement.com, or visit her Web site at www.jamesonmanagement.com.

More in Practice