Building a Thriving Dental Team: Tips and strategies

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors - Paula Kopf

Creating a great dental team requires strong leadership, effective communication, and a commitment to promoting a positive practice culture as a dental office manager. Here are some helpful tips on how to create a great dental team:

Hire the right people

Hiring the right people for your dental office is essential to the success of your practice. You should consider candidates who have the necessary job qualifications and skills but also encompass a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and excellent customer service. These qualities are important for building a successful team that delivers high-quality patient care. Additionally, excellent communication skills are vital. Individuals who can effectively communicate with patients, colleagues, and superiors create a positive and successful workplace. When hiring for a dental office position, look for individuals who share your vision and ideas and will work well with your existing team.

Define clear roles and responsibilities

Defining clear roles and responsibilities in the dental office is important for creating a systematic and productive team. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member so that everyone knows what is expected of them. Doing so can avoid confusion, reduce mistakes, and create a unified effort toward a common goal. Identify all job titles, define each one’s responsibility, set expectations, communicate effectively, and hold team members accountable; when you do, it ensures that everyone is working together to provide the best possible care to your patients.

Encourage open communication

Establish a culture of open communication where team members feel comfortable sharing ideas, concerns, and feedback. This helps to promote participation, confidence, and respect among the team. Encourage open communication, as it’s crucial to building a strong and structured team. Incorporate regular team meetings to discuss practice updates, address concerns, and share feedback. This helps to develop a practice culture of open communication and participation. Create an open-door policy, so your team members can come to you with any questions or concerns. Make sure they know that you are always available to address their needs. Utilize communication tools such as email, messaging apps, or project management software to assist in managing your team and keeping everyone on the same page. This helps guarantee that everyone can access the same information and communicate effectively. Ask for feedback from team members regularly. This identifies areas for improvement but also shows that you value their input and perspective. Provide opportunities for team-building activities such as team lunches or outings. This builds rapport among team members, leading to more open and effective communication.

Provide ongoing training and development

Invest in your team’s professional development by providing ongoing training and education. Your investment will improve their skills and knowledge and show that you value their growth and development. Providing ongoing training and development opportunities is vital in a dental office to ensure that your team members are up-to-date with the latest dental industry standards and best practices.

Many professional organizations offer online courses or webinars that can be completed independently. Offer in-house training sessions to teach new skills or procedures, including role-playing exercises, hands-on training, or demonstrations. Cross-training team members in different practice areas can help improve their skills and make them more versatile to help improve practice efficiency and teamwork. Providing ongoing training and development opportunities shows that you value their growth and development, which can lead to improved job satisfaction and retention.

Create a positive practice culture

Encourage team members to recognize and celebrate each other’s accomplishments and contributions. Creating a positive practice culture is essential in a dental practice to ensure that your team members feel valued, motivated, and engaged. As an office manager, you set the tone for the practice culture. Lead by example by demonstrating professionalism, integrity, and a positive attitude. This helps to create a practice culture of respect, confidence, and positivity. Define your practice values and communicate them to your team members. This helps establish a shared vision and purpose, motivating and engaging team members. Celebrate team members’ successes and accomplishments. This could include recognizing them in team meetings, sending out congratulatory emails, or providing small rewards or incentives. Creating a positive practice culture can improve teamwork, motivation, and engagement among your team members. This, in turn, can lead to improved patient care, practice efficiency, and, ultimately, practice success.

As an office manager, you set the tone for the practice culture. Lead by example by demonstrating professionalism, integrity, and a positive attitude. Following these tips can create a great dental team committed to providing excellent patient care and achieving the practice’s goals.

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About the Author

Headshot of Paula Kopf

Paula Kopf, FAADOM, has been in the dental field since 1998. She was inducted as an AADOM fellow (FAADOM) in 2016 and currently serves as the Chapter Relations Director for the Contra Costa AADOM Chapter. Paula has had the pleasure of working in an oral surgery office with Dr. Alijanian since 2011, encouraging her to fulfill her passion for improving patients’ dental health through personalized care and education.

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