I see it all the time and it’s actually a very easy fix!
Your employees are a team, meaning they should be working together towards a common goal. When your staff know what they should be doing individually AND how that fits in with what everyone else is actively doing to reach that shared goal, then working together becomes much easier and more enjoyable.
The main way you’re going to be able to coordinate with your staff is through meetings. We talk a lot about the different types of meetings you should hold in your practice and what to do during each meeting—here’s one blog post that lays it all out: Four Meetings You MUST Be Holding in Your Dental Practice.
So, today, I wanted to share the common mistakes I see dentists make with these meetings and easy ways to fix those mistakes so that you can coordinate better with your team and have everyone winning!
Share your goal(s) for the day and week
Your staff are with you because they want to contribute and help. Otherwise, they’d work at another job. If you point them towards a direction and a goal, their job becomes much more purposeful and fulfilling. In turn, they’re much more likely to contribute to that goal than if you were to tell them to just go make phone calls.
Sharing your goals with your staff during your meetings helps to improve the practice and gets everyone on the same page. Plus, it helps to tell who is with you and who’s not because if you don’t have a goal…how can you tell?
So what are your goals this week for production, case acceptance, new patients, recall visits, patient reactivation, etc? And how do these fit into the overall goal for the year (which may have some sort of big prize for the team if it’s achieved)? Make sure your staff are aware of these goals and coordinating to achieve them.
Have the right purpose for your meetings
A daily morning meeting (or morning huddle)—generally a brief meeting to get everyone coordinated for the day.
The staff meeting—a weekly meeting with all of your staff to talk about any issues that have come up, changes that need to be made, and general coordination.
The executive meeting—a weekly meeting between the doctor and office manager to coordinate the executive actions for the coming week. Things like going over personnel, goal setting, finances, marketing, etc.
When clients first start doing these meetings, they often tell me things like, “The staff aren’t really invested in it.” Or “The staff are just on their phones the whole time.” So, they think these meetings aren’t worth it or don’t work.
But the truth is, the big mistake I see with these meetings is that they don’t have the right purpose for doing them.
(Related: 8 Ways to Keep Your Staff Motivated)
What I mean is, these meetings aren’t a time for the doctor to lecture to their staff, it isn’t a time to correct the things that went wrong the previous day, etc.
The purpose of these meetings is to actually coordinate what everyone will be doing for that day or week. Coordination is what handles any possible upsets because everyone gets on the same page and is going in the same direction.
So, making sure that you’re going in with the purpose of getting your entire team together, up-to-date on things, and coordinated, is the way to go. Additionally, your staff are more than welcome to contribute to the conversations you have during these meetings, so encourage them to talk about things they need coordination with as well.
Come to the meeting prepared
Piggy-backing off of my previous point—this isn’t the purpose of a morning meeting, staff meeting, or executive meeting.
You need to come to the meeting prepared with how you’re contributing to the goals of the practice and what needs to be coordinated in order to reach that goal.
For example, a correct thing for a Treatment Coordinator to say during any of these meetings could be, “So, the number of consults were down this week. What I’m going to do is call out to patients with outstanding treatment and get them on the schedule. Sally, the Office Manager, is going to help me do the same thing. The goal is to fill the schedule back up, so the way the group can contribute to this is if you’re talking to someone with outstanding treatment, make sure they get turned over to me. Or, if you think of somebody who has outstanding treatment, let me know. Does anyone have things they need coordination with on this?”
This communication is much more team-oriented and gets the entire group contributing to the goal that week.
It is important for the staff to know that these meetings are not just for the doctor or office manager to tell them what to do. Each team member is responsible for their own functions within the practice and ensuring that targets are met. So they should come to the meeting with a plan and an idea of what they need to coordinate in order to get it done.
I hope these tips help during your next staff meeting! Having a well-coordinated team makes a world of difference for you, your practice, and your patients. If you’d like help on this subject or on a different area of your practice, click here to get a free practice analysis today.