You can try to create a winning dental team at your practice by utilizing these hiring and management strategies.
1. Look for Personal Traits When Hiring
Whether you're hiring a dental assistant, a hygienist, or a front desk receptionist, there are certain character traits to look for when hiring. Looking past the written resume to the core qualities of an interviewee is crucial to understanding whether they’re not only capable of doing the work, but also being a good culture fit.
Do they have drive? Are they punctual? Do they believe in your practice’s same values?
If you're looking only at skills, you may select what appears to be the best person on the job on paper and end up with someone who isn't motivated to be a team player or can't integrate into your workplace culture.
By reading into someone’s personal qualities, you may be able to better predict how they’ll work with your practice and how they can help your practice thrive.
2. Provide Robust Training Opportunities
If you fail to provide your employees with a wide variety of opportunities to build their skills, you could be setting them up to fail too. It's important that you offer your entire team with diverse options for training, including but not limited to continuing education within the scope of their position.
Regular, quality training opportunities may increase the chances of success of new employees within your practice. It can also provide existing employees with new information that helps them get excited about developments in the dental industry.
Encourage your employees to attend training webinars, dental conferences (including virtual conferences), and other educational events. Ensure that new hires have a strong support system in place while they get their bearings, such as an assigned mentor, to try to maximize the chances that they’ll help your practice grow and stay loyal to your practice.
3. Maintain a Positive Workplace Culture
Creating a constructive workplace culture is one of the most important things you can do as a dental practice owner. When employees work in a positive environment, they tend to feel safer, more energized, and prouder of their work. Hold team meetings on a regular basis and encourage your team to ask questions or bring up concerns they have.
Show employees that you're committed to a work-life balance and seek to have a benefits package that meets the needs of the majority of your team and their families. Give merit raises when appropriate and within your budget. Consider also asking your team for feedback when selecting employee insurance policies.
4. Manage Conflict from Afar
It's critical that you help your dental team manage conflict when it arises in the workplace, but how you go about it can mean the difference between success and failure.
Your door should always be open to addressing the needs of your employees, but avoid getting caught up in petty arguments or choosing sides when employees disagree. Instead, practice healthy conflict resolution skills.
Allow each employee time to air their grievances in a private setting, but keep them limited to a set amount of time. Don't allow employees to belittle or yell at each other, and look for creative solutions when possible.
You may also want to consider working with a neutral, third-party mediator who can help resolve employee disputes without taking you out of the exam room.
5. Let Go of Employees When Necessary
Despite your best efforts to select and train the right employees and to foster a positive work environment, there will likely be a time when someone you've hired just isn't working out. It can be difficult to approach the termination of a team member, and many dental practice owners or managers put off firing an employee until there's simply no other choice. Or, they may make the job more challenging for the employee in hopes that they'll quit and save them the confrontation.
Don't prolong a team member's employment if they're not a good fit for your dental practice; this is potentially costly and may have a negative impact on your overall bottom line. If you've given them plenty of opportunities to rectify their behavior or learn additional skills, and they continue to be problematic for the rest of the team, it may be time to take action.
You may consider offering a severance package when appropriate to help soften the blow, and if the reason for their termination isn't egregious, consider sending a recommendation letter.
Want More Tips to Build a Great Dental Team?
At Treloar & Heisel, we know that having a good dental team may be critical to the success of your dental practice. No matter how good a dentist you are, if your team members aren't able to support you and help provide patients with top-notch care, your practice may suffer.
Make sure you're doing your part to hire and train quality employees who are motivated to help your team succeed. Foster a positive workplace culture and a healthy work-life balance for employees while continuing to refine your team by letting go of individuals who aren't contributing to your success.
Contact us today to learn more about the services and products that Treloar & Heisel offers, including insurance products and advice.
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Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer legal or human resources advice. Please consult a professional concerning these topics.