May 8, 2014
by Kahaliah Richards
If you are like most dental office leaders, you have had times when you thought it would be impossible to get your team members on the same page with an idea, system, or process. Why is it so difficult? You have told them what you want or how you would like something done, right? You are not alone. I have heard this issue come up over and over again in my communication with dental leaders. I’d offer that there is a simple fix and it all starts with one question: What is the value mindset that you would like your team to operate from when they interact with the patients in your practice?
val·ue: noun \ˈval-(ˌ)yü\
The amount of money that something is worth : the price or cost of something
The word “value” is everywhere in today’s marketplace so it shouldn’t be difficult to get your team on the same mindset page, right? Webster defines the word value as, “the amount of money that something is worth.” Sounds simple, doesn’t it? It would be if we all came from the same socioeconomic backgrounds and upbringings, but we didn’t. Our teams are made up of people from all upbringings. Some may have come from families that struggled to make ends meet, while others lived more comfortably. Regardless of what their experiences were, we need to know that those backgrounds are at the forefront of how perceptions of value are formed and carried out in their lives today. Not just in their personal lives, but also in their roles within your practice.
In addition to our upbringings, modern media is spending a lot of time and money telling us their definition of value, which could be anything from a two for one super-sized soda at the corner convenience store to saving $500 on that luxury vacation to some place exotic and wonderful. It is everywhere and the different perspectives and definitions are too numerous to mention here. So how do we get everyone on our team to operate from same page when each person may have a different perspective?
It starts at the top. It is the responsibility of the dental leadership team to define the value mindset of the practice so the entire team is not only on the same page, but can also convey that mindset to your patients in every possible way. Whether you are a solo owner doctor or part of a leadership team of 10 in a group practice, without clear, concise vision from you, your team will be left to fill in any missing pieces or parts based on their own personal experiences, definitions, and perceptions.
Talk about it. Once the leadership team has done their part by creating a clear definition of value mindset, it is time to share with the whole team. I would encourage you to hold a team meeting to accomplish this. While in that meeting, allow time for not only your definition and vision, but discussion on how the team might carry that out in the daily operations of the practice and their interactions with your patients. Your team members are creative and resourceful. If given the opportunity, they might surprise you with some pretty innovative ways to show value to your patients.
Keep it visible. Now that everyone is on the same page it might be a good time to point out that we are all human. That is to say when we get busy, we fall back on what we inherently know and feel rather than what has been laid out for us. It takes practice to make something new into a habit so having reminders visible is helpful. Post reminders in areas of your practice that patients won’t see, but are visible to your team on a regular basis. The break room, the sterilization area, and the supply area are all good places. Keeping them fun and lighthearted would a nice touch as well.
Monitor regularly. We have heard it before, “What gets monitored gets done” and it is absolutely true. Take time each week to check in and see how the team is doing following through with implementing the leadership team’s vision of the value mindset. Talking about it regularly gives you the opportunity to make tweaks and adjustments before bad habits form.
This is just the beginning. Once this process is in place we can dive deeper into building a culture of value in your practice with a simple three step method I call the PPT Method: People, Process, and Technology. If you’re interested in learning more, join me Monday, June 9th 1pm ET for “What Every Dental Practice Should Know about Creating the Value Your Patients Desire”, a OMH webinar. Follow this link to register.
SOURCED: ONEMIND HEALTH http://onemindhealth.com/brainsparksmay2014/
BY: Mindy Altermatt, FAADOM is a professional coach, speaker, and leadership champion to dental leaders. She’s a veteran of the dental industry with experience in insurance processing on all levels, practice management, and team development. During her years as a practice administrator she achieved fellowship distinction with the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM), and in 2007 was named their Office Manager of the Year.
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