Teamwork is what keeps our offices rolling! Many offices pride themselves on being able to step in and help each other out when someone is busy or out on vacation. Having your team members know how to do more than one job can be very effective in creating a highly productive office. But what happens when you have one employee that has been there for a very long time and is the only person who knows how to do his/her job?

Doctors like to be in operatories performing dentistry and tend to rely heavily on team members to be efficient, accurate and productive. What if you have only one person who knows how to do a job? Well – all your eggs are in one basket. Many times, this is a person who has worked for the office the longest, has a good relationship with the doctor, and feels that having scarce knowledge is job security. Unfortunately, if this person is not current with continuing education or if their processes are antiquated, the doctor is the last to find this out. In a nutshell, their confidence in their job is greater than their capability. This is often not discovered until the person is out sick for an extended period or leaves the position. The other team members soon discover that the long-term employee was operating from a house of cards.

The advent of the New Year is a great time for you to reassess your team and their responsibilities. Another important factor is their desire to learn and grow. Meet with all your team members, to ask them what their goals are for the upcoming year. It’s a great time to share your goals for them. This could include new continuing education courses, increased documentation efforts, and a focus on accountability. Employees could and should look at this as an exciting opportunity to grow and to be part of a capable and caring team that is not dependent upon just one person.

Make this the year that your practice is the most efficient and productive ever!