Why do we resist change?
Change is scary. Change forces us out of our comfort zones, into the unknown, and often into situations outside our control. We are afraid of change because we are afraid that this new challenge might make us look foolish, feel less capable, or we may even fail.
Yet, Change is necessary. It is impossible to grow your practice, increase your service offerings, or stay competitive without change. Dentistry is a dynamic field, with new technologies and creative techniques being explored continuously. It is critical to be open to exploring these changes and to implement the ones that will best improve your practice. By embracing change, you are showing your regular (and new) patients that your practice is on the cutting edge of dentistry and dedicated to providing the best possible care there is.
Complacency kills productivity, positivity, and profit.
Unfortunately, one of the realities you may face is that your most loyal and long-term team members are the ones most resistant to accepting changes in your practice. However, don’t let this stop you from improving the practice. Educating your team about upcoming changes in regular team meetings will help ease the transition.
Over time, people tend to develop routines to perform their tasks. On the one hand, this can be beneficial, as it can ensure consistency in job performance and can simplify the training of new employees. Often, these team members take pride in mastering the routine of their position and equate this with mastery of their role in the practice.
On the other hand, routines can lead to complacency, which can be devastating for your practice. Complacency can cause team members to “go through the motions,” putting less thought and effort into their routine. Over time, their work may suffer and become sloppy. Additionally, a complacent employee is unwilling to change their routine, making it difficult to embrace the new ideas, methods, or technologies that are vital to better serving your patients and growing your business. A complacent employee can even harm team morale and slow the adoption of the changes you seek to implement.
How do you protect your office from complacency and promote change as a part of your practice?
First, create an atmosphere of change. Start small, but design a series of changes to be implemented over the next few weeks or months in your practice. Make the idea of change something that is a normal and accepted part of your routine. This will make bigger changes easier to implement when the time comes.
Second, talk to your team. Make sure every team member understands the changes you want to implement, your reasons for making the changes, and your expectations of their compliance. Be open to answering questions, but do not allow “that’s not how we’ve always done things” to be a reason to slow or avoid changes.
Finally, make your team and yourself accountable for the changes. Track that your changes are in place and that every team member is on board. Meet with your team and discuss the outcomes of the change and how everyone feels about the change. Celebrate victories and strategize improvements. When your team is able to own the change and its outcome, it will be easier to implement the next and to suggest new ideas for future change.
For more information on creating a culture of change in your office, contact us today.