I’ll start this post with a story.
Not that long ago, I was speaking with a newer client. They were having trouble with hiring and staff turnover. At the time, he had two openings: dental assistant and front desk. Applicants were few and far between and the ones he did hire turned out to be “duds” (i.e. not good employees).
More or less at his wits end, he’d decided that:
a) Maybe he should downsize (i.e. not hire anyone), and
b) There were “no good employees out there” and the good ones already had jobs,
c) That maybe what he learned at MGE about hiring “didn’t work.”
And while he was a newer client, he’d attended the hiring seminar we offer on the Power Program. In other words, he’d been taught how to hire as far as MGE was concerned.
And…that’s where the conversation started.
“A” and “B” above were out the window pretty quick. “A” was completely unworkable – he needed employees to service his patient base. “B” was borne out of frustration and obviously not true (and also dropped quickly). This brought us to “C” – What he learned at MGE about hiring “didn’t work.”
As the conversation progressed, he was quick to admit that he saw it working for other people – (clients). He’d met numerous staff from other clients offices while at MGE for training and personally knew a number of clients who related their overall happiness with their staff/hiring, etc. So, the conversation turned to maybe it worked – but “not for him.”
So, with this in mind, I inquired as to what he was actually DOING when it came to personnel and hiring. In other words – was he doing what he was taught, or something else? Or a lot of something elses?
Yeah…you can see where this is going.
It turns out he wasn’t doing what he was taught. Among other things, the resumes he received were stuffed in piles – a mess and he couldn’t make heads or tails of them. Over half hadn’t been read. He wasn’t responding to applicants for over a week, in most cases; was doing maybe a quarter of what he was taught during the interview process and finally (after all this) was hiring people that we would have advised he didn’t (i.e. applicants with red flags such as those who bounce from job to job every 3 months).
So, in the end it wasn’t hard to see why things weren’t working out! He wasn’t doing what he was taught. He was doing something else.
Admittedly, he devoted little to no time to the subject – he just wanted to get the hiring over with. He compared it to watching a movie he hated: he just wanted it to be over!
And while this handled easily, his hiring improved almost overnight once he began to apply and really work at the subject – this has nothing do with the “point” I’m making. I’m also not trying to state or prove how well our program works. It does – but again, that’s not the point.
My point is this: Unless you live in a bubble, you’re not going to have a “trouble-free” life – especially in business. If you can’t examine what you are doing…honestly…you’re going to have a hard time!
Additionally, with many people (and I’ve been guilty of this too), there’s a “disconnect” where someone can’t connect why something isn’t working to something that THEY are doing!
And mind you, this doesn’t mean that if your marketing isn’t working that “something is wrong with you.” It DOES mean that there is something WRONG HAPPENING OR BEING DONE!
So, from this we can divine a few simple lessons. It’s something for you look at the next time some area of your business is giving you a hard time:
1. Do you know (are you trained on) how to fix the problem?
Are you trained on the area that is giving you trouble? Staff, marketing, management, etc. If not, get some training! Otherwise you’ll do one of three things
a) You’ll “fix” it incorrectly (i.e. make it worse or see no improvement)
b) Pick the wrong solution – i.e. move your practice because people in your area have a “low dental-IQ” (which by the way is a completely bogus idea…)
c) Maybe get lucky and things work out (not a great way to run your business!)
2. Assuming you’re trained on the subject – does the training/technology you’ve learned actually work?
This is a big one. Just because someone charges money for a course and says that it works doesn’t really mean squat. For that matter, they may have a lot of attendees at the course who are all “pumped” about it. Again – who cares? Bottomline: DOES IT ACTUALLY PRODUCE THE EXPECTED RESULT IN THE REAL WORLD? If it doesn’t – what’s the point?
3. Assuming you are trained and the technique/technology you’ve learned actually works, then comes the million dollar (sorry “billion dollar”…inflation, you know) question: ARE YOU ACTUALLY DOING IT?
“3” is the big one – Implementation. It’s also the trickiest. It requires the ability to introspect (look at oneself…honestly), and the willingness to be “wrong” when you see that you aren’t doing things right. Someone who can make an honest assessment of their actions – and change as a result – can go far. Someone who won’t even look, convinced they are doing things “right’ when things are falling apart, is in trouble. And you’d be surprised how many people fall into this latter category. The good thing is that it’s easy to change – it’s just a decision.
This process is where true professionals are made. Continuously assessing your actions, keeping your skills “fresh” and up-to-date, really working at the craft of whatever it is you are trying to become (or stay) good at. For a dentist, doing this with clinical skills is second nature. Well, apply this same attitude to practice management issues – I promise you’ll be happy with the results.
And of course, if you’re looking for real solutions – i.e. ones that actually work for practice management issues – give us a call. We’d be happy to help.
Until next time!