Dentist’s Guide to Creating a Positive Dental Office Culture
Build a strong team culture to take your practice to new levels of success.
Dental office culture is vital to the success of any practice. Dentists and their team members need to be able to work together effectively if they’re going to provide quality care and a welcoming environment to patients.
A developed dental office culture isn’t something that happens overnight—it takes dedication and strategy. Here we’ve listed some principles and practices you can implement at your dental office to start developing a better culture.
The Daily 5
Improving your dental office culture could be as simple as scheduling short daily meetings. Inspired by team stand-ups common across agile workspaces in tech and other industries, the Daily 5 is a five-minute meeting you have with the entire staff each day.
This allows all team members to bring up any important topics at a defined time, rather than trying to squeeze in communications around other responsibilities. This also creates a much more open office culture where people feel they have the space to bring up issues and be heard without bogging down the pace with longer meetings.
The Weekly Brainstorming Session
Of course, not everything can be dealt with in just five minutes. Developing a hierarchy for planning is incredibly effective, and one level in that hierarchy is the weekly brainstorming session. This longer weekly meeting allows for a more fleshed-out discussion of opportunities and issues that the practice is facing.
This cooperative effort shows that every team member’s contribution is appreciated and welcomed. It creates a truly collaborative atmosphere where a dental practice can benefit from the insight and innovation of the entire team rather than following a rigid top-down management approach.
Yearly Continuing Education Goals
Your team needs to know they are appreciated and valued. One of the most important ways you can show them this is through ongoing development of their skills. While there are many ways team members can advance and grow, continuing education is among the most direct and effective routes to take.
An excellent dental office culture is one in which everyone is continuously learning new things to provide better patient care.
Setting defined continued education goals for staff can signal to them that they are worthy of investment and important to your practice. Whether it’s an administrative or patient care course, or an orthodontic course for general dentists and their team, there is no shortage of educational opportunities.
Fostering an Atmosphere of Respect
Respect is an essential element in any healthy workplace, not just in dental office culture. Team members need to feel that they are truly valued for their achievements and abilities, and that they contribute to the ongoing success of the practice and patient outcomes.
Communication is an important part of how respect is shown in the workplace. Everyone should be aware of how to communicate clearly and openly to build trust and maintain a healthy environment. As the team’s leader, it’s important you model the appropriate behavior and have clear processes for when the desired behavior is not exhibited.
Simply treating each other with courtesy, kindness, and politeness can be enough to start building a solid foundation for an atmosphere of respect.
Define Roles Clearly
A dental practice faces numerous challenges every day to bring its patients the best possible results. However, these challenges aren’t all related to dental issues and complications. Many difficulties arise from broken team dynamics that add stress and conflict to the workplace.
Defining roles clearly is an easy way to minimize this challenge. Tasks should be clearly assigned and delegated to ensure that staff members don’t feel they’re being taken advantage of. It also ensures that important tasks aren’t left undone because team members aren’t sure with whom the responsibility lies.
Invest in Your Team
Every team member brings value to your practice. Practices with a good dental office culture seek to build that value over time and celebrate it. One of the most effective ways to do so is to provide additional training to team members to expand their range of abilities.
This can take the form of continuing education, as mentioned earlier, or it could mean cross-training roles within the team. This has the added benefit of increasing the flexibility within your practice, making it easier to cover tasks when team members are on vacation. And don’t overlook soft skills—a team member who is exceptional at building relationships with patients, for example, could impart some of those skills to the rest of the team.
Continued Education With Synergy Orthodontic Seminars
There are many orthodontic treatments that are well within the capabilities of general dentists to administer with the right training. Instead of referring all orthodontic cases to an orthodontist, additional training can allow a general dentist and their team to carry out many of these treatments. Synergy Orthodontic Seminars provides a wide range of continued learning options for general dentists and their teams. You can build a healthy dental office culture and increase the services available to patients by contacting Synergy Orthodontic Seminars to find out more.