I recently helped a doctor with a problem our industry is facing – how to avoid turnover in his practice. He contacted me regarding his concern and wanted to know how to avoid what he has been reading about. Since this may affect you in your practice, I want to share his situation and how you can solve this
problem as well.
For a little background, Dave is a general dentist, and he was a previous associate and wanted to purchase his own practice. He purchased an established practice in the fall of 2022 and contacted me a year later to help him with creating the culture he wanted and for the team to get more focused on the goals he sought to accomplish in the year ahead. His team consists of 2 full time hygienists, 3 full time assistants, 2 full time and 1 part time administrative team members.
When Dave and I discussed the difference between having employees work with you versus a true team, he knew this is what he needed for his patients and his practice. Using my method of leadership utilizing the coaching model, Dave would be able to bring his team together. Everyone knows what a coach does so the Dr/Owner is the head coach. This concept allows for an easy-to-understand structure for the team. If you call them a team and you lead them, you are the coach.
The most basic thing that brings people together are likeminded core values. Take time as a team to create your list of core values together. This is time well spent since you find out more about each other and start the process of team cohesion. Next to create together is your mission and vision. The way I lead teams to do this is not your 1990s way of doing this.
By creating these as a team, this helps all generations come together and create your “why”. The team has input, and they feel valued. That is the key. Teams need to be a part of this creation process, so their opinions are heard. When this happens, they agree to the creation and will conduct themselves as a true team.
This is the beginning of creating the culture of your practice. I define culture as what is or is not acceptable when it comes to human behavior. We tend to overcomplicate things, so I try and make all of this as simple as possible, just like leadership. When you view this from the standpoint of a coach, it makes something that seems ambiguous more concrete. Being the coach of your team gives you an easy perspective to view your team and dental practice. As the coach, you need to take time to prepare – plan what you want to accomplish and decide the best way to go about achieving your goal.
Dave and his team are now more cohesive and looking forward to making a greater impact in 2024. His team shared with me how they appreciate getting more things done while enjoying their day at work. They all agreed they cannot imagine working anywhere else.
If this is something you would like to have in your practice, please get in touch with me so we can discuss more in detail. Wishing you the best as we start the new year!