Having a solid base in your office is important to maintaining the quality you want to provide your customers. A busy dental office is a good sign, and a strong dental team is a key component in making your office run smoothly. However, you may be missing a step or two, which can hurt a practice in the long run. Dental team building is an important part of the AMP dental seminar and coaching process. Here are some principles we abide by and are happy to pass along to you.


1. Use Data-driven Systems

If you have any experience managing existing practices, you understand the perils of old management systems. These could be the systems that were in place before you arrived, or perhaps they are completely new and never-before-seen. Commonly, basic management systems are used in these scenarios, which can be troublesome for those wanting to build a successful dental team. These systems are considered band-aids, and are merely holding things together. Your team cannot thrive in a system held together by strings.

When establishing your practice, you must identify the step-by-step practices that are necessary to build a strong team. With proper systems in place, your employees will have a concrete understanding of what to do and when to do it. Through this, data is accumulated. This data – good or bad – is instrumental in creating better systems in the future. Using the data acquired, your office will be able to establish a system that will allow your team to thrive.

2. Train Your Team Effectively

The system is only as good as the team within it. With systems in place, you will be able to get your team up to speed with how to work within it. This is why you create simple and thorough systems – to better train your employees. Well thought out systems based on data will be able to establish responsibility and accountability in any team member, whether they are veterans or have limited experience working in dentistry.

Once you have standardized your office, the training will become simpler. That doesn’t mean it will take a coffee break to learn. You will have to schedule time away from the office to properly teach your team the system dynamics and how they are to work within them. This way, they will be focused on the task at hand, instead of having to duck out and potentially tend to a patient. The simpler the system and the more defined the office roles, the stronger your office team will be once training is complete. Having everyone on the same page is essential to a productive office, and properly training your staff plays a large part.

3. Care About & Listen to Your Team

Having a team that feels listened to and cared about is a cornerstone of strong dental practices. Their relationship with you as their boss can make or break team dynamics. This seems very simple, but is sometimes lost on office managers. It shouldn’t be a chore to treat your employees as people and not just employees. Most dental practices have between four and eight people working within them, so establishing even a small personal bond with your employees shouldn’t be that difficult.

The simplest ideas are to send out birthday or anniversary cards to your employees, or to hold fun employee outings that get everyone out of the office and into the real world. There’s a troubling trend of some office managers becoming “dehumanized” to their employees, and adding a personal touch to your workplace will help your team know you care. Once they know you care, you can build a stronger team.

Listening to your employees is crucial as well. Dentists are usually so busy they have difficulty engaging in management because of the requirement to listen to them. Running between patients, getting behind in work, and other issues up at the front of the office make it difficult to listen to the team.

It’s important to set aside time to listen to concerns being brought up by your team. Weekly meetings give your office a chance to have their voices heard. Through these meetings, you will better understand what needs to be done to make the team more effective. It also allows the office to get things off their chest and lets them know that you care about their opinions. This simple action of holding a meeting can help your office’s team progress.

4. Establish Common Goals

When practices are first established, managers can sometimes forget to set goals for the business. After all, your dental practice is a business, and in order to stay open, it must remain busy enough to pay the bills. By working with your team through their standardized roles in the system, you should be able to create goals regarding production, collection, acquiring new patients, retaining current patients, managing the turnover, potential expansion, and other goals that could affect your business positively.

If you work within the system you have established during training, your employees will understand their role in these goals and how to maximize their potential in order to reach them. The main goal, of course, is achievement. When your team achieves, the business succeeds.

5. Appropriately Compensate Your Team & Boost Team Performance

If your team feels they are underappreciated, they will not perform to their full potential. Perhaps you have been sending cards to them on special occasions, and maybe there has been a party here and there. If they are not taken care of financially, however, you run the risk of your operation falling apart.

When looking at appropriate compensation rates for employees, look towards other dental practices in the area. The rates will vary depending on the amount of specialization you have at your practice, but it’s important to select a rate that is fair to your employee and will keep them working at their full potential.

Adding bonuses to your team’s pay schedule is another way to boost performance. Bonuses will cause the team to work that much harder in order to get that extra prize. Setting the bonus interval for your specific collection model will give your employees a reason every quarter to really run smoothly. Having a bonus system is great, but ensuring that it goes to those employees who display an extra level of knowledge or experience is the key to promoting improvement among the rest of the team.

If these you would like to employ practices like these at your dental practice, then give us a call today.