December 6, 2021
by Shawn Peers, DentalPeers
Welcome to December and my final blog for 2021! It has been a great honour to share some of my thoughts with you again this year and I look forward to continuing to do so in 2022!
My most recent blogs have focused on the importance of proper onboarding to increase your rate of employee retention. People want to feel satisfied that the work they are doing is making a difference in the lives of others. If they have not been properly trained, they are less likely to feel they are making that difference.
Offices where everyone feels they are making a difference are most often those working together to further a vision held by the entire team. That means one of the first steps you must include when onboarding new team members is to get them to understand and be excited about your vision statement.
Of course, that means you need to have a vision statement!
Some of you might be thinking “Why bother with a vision statement? I listened to a practice management guru at a conference who told me I needed a vision statement. I went back home, created one and nothing changed. It was a total waste of time!”
In truth, if the only thing you did was create a vision statement, then you are right. The vision statement did not make a difference and that makes it appear the time you spent creating one was, in fact, time wasted.
What you need to understand is that creating a vision statement for your practice is only the first step. It is a vital step…but only one of many you may need to make. Think of creating your vision statement as the equivalent of putting an address into your GPS.
Like that address, the vision statement specifies where you want to go…the destination you want to arrive at. However, you don’t get there just because you put in an address!
The first thing the GPS is going to do is give you step by step directions on how to get to your destination. Think of them as your policies and procedures. You need to create a set of policies and procedures for the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly operation of your practice that helps guide you in the direction of your vision.
Finally, it is wonderful to have a great set of directions you can follow to get you to your destination. However, you still need to put the car in gear, follow your GPS and drive. If you never move or if you ignore the directions, you will never arrive at your destination.
Similarly, you will never arrive at your vision if you and your team do not follow your policies and procedures. In fact, with different team members trying to move in different directions, you could be left feeling like you are spinning your wheels but getting nowhere fast!
Getting the team to follow the directions falls on you as the leader! If you are not committed to the policies that you have set out, your team will follow your lead. Daily huddles won’t happen, patients will not be scheduled for their next appointment, phones won’t be answered the way you expect, case acceptance will be low, and your practice will never arrive at its destination…its vision!
We all know this is the time of year we set our goals (dare I say, “resolutions”?) to make next year better than the last. One of your goals has to be to set your business GPS by creating a vision. Then you have to promise (no shortcuts) you will follow every explicit direction toward that vision as that is the best way to ensure you arrive prosperously at your destination!
As we wind down 2021, I wish you the best of the holiday season and a very Happy New Year! And since we are using a driving analogy, a friendly reminder to remain safe…please arrive alive!
About the Author
Shawn Peers is the President of DentalPeers. DentalPeers is one of Canada’s oldest, continuous operating buying groups exclusively for dentists.