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How To Build A Team That Will Help Build Your Practice

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Team Building

Too many practices struggle to reach their goals because they just don't have the right team to get the job done.

When you started the practice, you may have hired to “fill the openings”. Along the way, you made additions or changes because you were short handed or needed to make a replacement. Now you have a group of people working for you. But, have you built an “A-Level Team”.

Not Everyone Deserves To Play On Your Team
Think about your staff as a sports team. On a sports team, you can only have so many players and there’s a salary cap. To win championships, management has to get the best players for the money they invest. In the dental office, you have the same challenge; the salary cap is your payroll. And each team member demands a particular salary based on their position. The goal is to get the best players for your investment.

Another consideration, on a basketball team, there are five people on the court at any given time. If one of them is performing at a B level, you go to the bench for an A level replacement. In the dental office you don't have team members “on the bench” if someone isn't getting the job done. You need everyone to play at an A level all the time.

Step One - Assessing Your Current Staff
Do a quick assessment of your current staff. Write down everyone’s name and give each person a corresponding A, B or C grade. Go with your gut; you “know”.

For a point of reference, an “A” player has excellent communication skills with patients, the doctor, and team members. They are professional, yet fun & pleasant to be around. They show up for work on time every day with an upbeat attitude (no drama). They get their work done, show initiative, never make excuses and are never at the center of controversy. These are your stars. You wish you had a whole team just like them. Then there’s everyone else.

Now ask yourself: “am I paying someone an A-Level salary for doing C-Level work?”

As long as the team member has the right attitude and is willing to put in the effort, with coaching, it’s possible for a B to become an A. Turning a C into an A, however, never happens.

Don’t Let Decoys Destroy What You’ve Built
It’s pretty easy to recognize the C level player when they’re consistently missing shots, but what about those solid performers who might be sabotaging your business in subtler ways? I call these people “Energy Sucks” and you don’t want them on your team.

One of my clients had a worker who was excellent at her job, sometimes even going beyond the expectations he’d outlined for her position. Because of her efforts, she made herself seem “irreplaceable”. However, she was often disrespectful to the Dr. and her teammates, and thought she was above the policies and protocols (cell phones and social media during business hours, extended lunch hours for personal appointments, etc.).

At one point, my client said to me, “I get up in the morning and don’t want to go into my own office! Then I go home and complain about this woman all night long.” When I asked him why he didn’t fire her, his told me that despite it all she did a good job. I said, “Yeah and she’s killing you.”

When he finally fired his “Energy Suck” it was like the clouds lifted, the office was flooded with sunshine, and energy levels went through the roof. Team members banded together and production/collection results improved.

Fill In the Gaps - Start a Vigorous Recruiting Process
When interviewing, everybody says they have the experience you're looking for; great clinical skills, scheduling, collections and insurance, and treatment presentation expertise, communication skills, etc. Everybody looks good on paper, but very few are actually capable of building a successful practice.

Be clear on your own expectations for the position. Put out multiple ads, get help from equipment and supply reps, etc. and keep interviewing until you find the right person to fill the role, not a warm body to fill the seat. There are always great people looking for the exceptional practice.

You’re much better off working short-handed than having the wrong people on your team. If you’ve got a staff of A players, they will pick up the slack while you look for someone great. They don’t want another C player on the team any more than you do.

Go ahead; rate all your team members as an A, B or C. What becomes clear when you look objectively at your employees? Share in the comments area, below.

Remember, everyone doesn't deserve to be on your team. If you’re ready to be surrounded by All-Stars, Click below.

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