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10 ways to create a team culture of success in your dental practice

Sept. 1, 2022
Getting your dental team on board with a successful practice begins with putting patients first and spreading a happy attitude.

As the leader and owner, have you ever wondered how to create a culture of harmony, respect, and success in your dental practice? We implemented what came to be known as the “10 commandments of a successful culture” that I promoted in my own private practice. 

The most important thing is for dentists to model the behavior they would like their team to emulate. 

1. Think like a patient

Remember, everything is about patient perception and how they feel in your office. For just one day, look at your office through a patient’s eyes. Walk through your parking lot and front door. Do you have fresh flowers to greet them? How current are your magazines in the reception area? Does the office feel clean and up to date? 

2. Leave your baggage at the door 

This applies not just to the team but to the doctor as well. A rough morning getting the kids off to school, the lunches packed, and dealing with traffic can lead to a bad mood. There should be a mat at the back door that says “Stage,” because once you walk through the door, you’re on stage for your teammates and patients.

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3. Be of service 

We’re in the service industry, not the teeth business. Are your patients greeted properly, and does your team express happiness when they come into your office? In fact, patients are paying our paychecks, and without patients, we’d have no job. 

4. Be ready 

Being on time sets the tone for the entire office and patient experience, and it shows respect for everyone’s time. The morning huddle is the place to work out kinks, or at least prepare for surprises in the schedule as much as possible. The treatment plan should be in the computer, scheduled production should indicate the procedures planned for the appointment, and the financial arrangements should be confirmed. 

5. Acknowledge others 

Everyone enjoys being greeted by name when they enter an establishment. A friendly salutation of genuine happiness when patients are on time will set the tone for their appointments. For your teammates, catch them doing something great and let them know how much you appreciate them. 

6. Be kind 

A dental office can be stressful. Patients may arrive with high anxiety, or the team might have a challenging procedure coming up. Be patient with one another. Remember that we’re all going through something, and kindness goes a long way. 

7. Make it fun

Life can be difficult, but adding levity and good times can make a situation better. Laughter and being with people who have a positive attitude can make a workday seem lighter, where memories are created, and having a good time releases endorphins in our brains. 

8. Do what you say you’ll do

We all depend on others to get by. Commitment to your practice, boss, teammates, and patients is what separates the winners from the average people. When you work together and trust one another, anything is possible. 

9. Be solution minded 

If you don’t know the answer, find a solution. Your teammates will appreciate it when you share your ideas and input, especially if it doesn’t cost the practice any money. Think outside the box because many times great ideas come from within the trenches.

10. Show that you care 

Most of us went into dentistry to help people. We can have such a great impact on others’ lives. We get to relieve people of their pain, help them keep their teeth, smile, eat comfortably, speak clearly, stay healthy, and feel better about themselves. Let your human kindness shine! 

This article originally appeared in DE Weekend, the newsletter that will elevate your Sunday mornings with practical and innovative practice management and clinical content from experts across the field. Subscribe here.

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