Employee Hiring & Motivation
Employee Hiring & Motivation, From Dental Assistant to Overall Training
The number-one employee problem among dental practitioners is team harmony: working together toward the same goal.
Team harmony is the key to success in a firm, and the lack of it is a primary reason for failure. One reason is the failure to communicate—the staff isn’t on the same page regarding the practice’s goals. Another is in hiring the wrong people: those who don’t want to be part of a team or who don’t see their position as contributing to the overall success of the practice.
The solution? Motivation, communication, financial security, fun, and—though you may find this hard to believe, it’s true—unconditional love.
It begins with hiring. At Dan Sindelar’s practice, hiring is coordinated among all members of the team. Certainly our focus is on mouth diseases, periodontics, gum infection and tooth decay—but we are here to serve and educate and enjoy ourselves as a team. In fact, it’s the team that determines whom to hire, and it’s only then that Dr. Dan steps in to approve, following the advice of his staff. This not only creates empowerment among the staff and a validation of the trust that Dr. Dan places in their judgment, but it also ensures that the new team member will have met the demands of the existing staff and already have gone a long way to earnings the staff’s approval.
Staff Needs and Processes
In terms of the essential needs of his staff, Dr. Dan has instituted several processes. Certainly he makes sure to communicate with everyone about what he needs and the practice’s short- and long-term goals. In fact, each day begins with a quick rundown of everyone’s responsibilities for the day (a kind of pep talk) and a recitation of personal victories and achievements.
As far as financial security goes, Dr. Dan feels it is essential to pay his staff well and, in terms of motivation, to use financial rewards to keep the staff working toward a common goal of sustaining and growing the practice and ensuring the continuing health and wellness of the patients. There’s also a bonus based on performance goals—depending on the role of each team member (for example, the hygienist gets a percentage of the number of people she treats).
In addition, a team wants emotional security. Dr. Dan leads off the morning meeting by celebrating wins and sharing motivational quotes to empower and encourage the team.
As for unconditional love, it’s there in support, in recognition, in the realization that Dr. Dan’s success is built on everyone working together, and each person’s individual contribution. Everyone is recognized for her part.
There’s also a sense of fun. Dr. Dan has a monthly grab bag for the team, with the prize being anything from restaurant certificates to sports games to spa days.
As Dr. Dan says, “Hire team members who are open-minded and creative—people who address their career as an opportunity to save lives, not just punch the clock.”