You barely have time to check in with your team in a dental practice. Can you really tell how they feel about their work? Dental practices, like any healthcare organization, can be stressful and busy, but as a leader, you need to ensure your patients receive positive, professional care.
Investing in team morale makes good financial sense and is vital to patient satisfaction and retention. According to a recent Gallup poll, there are approximately 22 million actively disengaged employees in the United States, costing the economy $350 billion in lost productivity each year. Among the factors cited in the report were illness, absenteeism, and attitude. Having to work inside someone’s mouth—a very intimate act—you can imagine how quickly they will notice a poor attitude.
Leaders who serve
A concept known as “servant leadership” can improve morale. Team members are recognized for their contributions, creating a sense of pride within the organization. A harmonious work environment flows from the top and engenders trust.
The late pundit Robert K. Greenleaf coined the phrase “servant leadership” in 1970, saying, “The great leader is seen as a servant first, and that is the key to his success.”
Getting to know your team
Identify the motivations of each team member and plan rewards accordingly. There are some who may appreciate a photo and a thank-you post on social media, some might enjoy a private, handwritten note, and almost everyone would appreciate a paid day off. Consider what makes sense for your team and budget. No matter how small your efforts are, they will serve to energize your employees and make them feel positive about serving patients.
Contributions should be recognized.
The importance of group recognition cannot be overstated. Prepare a catered luncheon for your employees or give them gift certificates. Incorporate employee recognition week into your patient newsletter.
Hold yourself accountable for following through on promises, handle conflicts quickly, and adopt an open-door policy that makes your team feel welcome.
Morning huddles and team meetings keep everyone on the same page and facilitate easy communication. Additionally, it makes you aware of potential job satisfaction roadblocks, such as an overwhelming caseload or an unequal distribution of work.
Finally, employees always appreciate a leader who is willing to roll up their sleeves and provide assistance when times are difficult.
Your trust, appreciation, and support for your team can have a profound effect on the harmony of your office, the patient experience, and the bottom line of your business. Keep morale high in order to ensure the success of your practice.