Investing in your team will have a positive impact on your practice life
Sadly the value of “training” in dental practices is consistently under-valued and the impact is vastly under-estimated. Of course, well-trained dentists are an obvious asset and qualified dental nurses or surgery assistants are (usually) the norm. However, in-practice training must go further than the accepted qualifications, in order to make a real difference. In fact it must move practice leaders out of their comfort zone into soft skills, staff inductions and practice systemisation.
Let me illustrate the power of this philosophy. Last week we visited a practice who had embraced the concept of “systemisation” and the training that goes with it. They had developed a robust induction system that lasted at least a month, after which a personal development plan and monthly reviews to support new team members was the norm. Staff undergo quarterly catch-up chats with personal training plans that support the practice as it moves forward.
Only that morning, their telephone system had stopped working and the practice manager had been off site. The team had been trained to use the systems manual to locate the practice continuity plan and had contacted the telephone company, using the information in the continuity plan, to restore the telephone service.
So the next time you moan or whinge about your team, ask yourself: are you expecting them to be mind readers?
The most impressive thing though, other than the team work, was that it was a 17-year-old trainee receptionist who ultimately followed the plan and was taking ownership of talking to the telephone company.
In this case, the practice systems manual formed part of the induction process and training of the staff had up-skilled and empowered them to be able to implement practice systems. Now, one would not normally expect leadership or strategy decisions to be formalised in the same way for a team but it does serve to illustrate the power of training, empowerment, support and a reference manual.
So the next time that you moan or whinge about your team, ask yourself: are you expecting them to be mind readers? Have you trained and communicated with them what your expectations are? The reality is that if there is a problem with your team, then there is a problem with YOU as a leader or manager. Many problems within teams stem from a lack of communication, rules, vision and expectations. The take-home message is that by empowering your team with the correct training you will be investing in the future running of your business, the future of your team members and the future of your practice.
So take team training further than the yearly CPR event and consider some training in customer service or how to operate your practice systems properly. The difference will be amazing.