How Well Do You Know Your Team Members?
Your Success May Depend on It
You’ve heard the saying, “Happy wife, happy life.” Well, how about “Happy team, successful business?”
OK, it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it’s the same concept. Do you ever feel like you have no idea what is going on in the lives of your team? Is there tension in the office demographics?
A dental office is a busy place no matter which department you work in. Once the workday starts, we are busy with scheduling patients, checking patients in and out, answering phones, cleaning rooms, prepping instruments, and the many other tasks that come up in a day. We as office managers need to make time to help our employees feel appreciated, which leads to a happier work environment affecting everyone in the office, even our patients.
Ways to Improve Team Cohesion
One way we may accomplish this is to meet with each department and/or each team member monthly, depending on the size of your practice.
The best way to do this is to put it on the schedule! Make it a priority!
Schedule time on the calendar regularly to meet with team members either as a department or one-on-one. Use this time to get to know your team members on a more personal level.
Let the team know how important this time is and how important they are to you.
Schedule a lunch out of the office for the department or team member, or even take a short walk together at a break. Studies show that the simple act of walking with another person creates an important bond. Either way, talk about anything but work. Use this time to learn more about your team outside of the office. Ask about their family, kids, pets, and what they like to do when they are out of the office. You may find out you have a lot in common.
If you have a new team member, take them to lunch, get to know them, and let them know that you are there to help them succeed in their role in the office. Let the new member know you are excited to have them as part of the team. During a staff meeting, ask each employee to reintroduce themselves and state some non-work-related fun facts about themselves. This important activity can create instant bonding and connection with others involving unique details that may never have come up otherwise.
If you do need to have a meeting to talk about issues at work, be a good listener. Don’t try to fix everything as we office managers often want to do. Instead, offer suggestions and get the TEAM involved in finding a solution.
Celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and anything special that comes up during the year. Everyone likes to be celebrated. Give that person a handwritten card and a small gift to show your appreciation for them. You can also do random things for the team to show your appreciation. Bring in treats or have lunch delivered.
By doing these small things, you and your team will grow and work better together. Your patients will notice this and the practice will grow. Patients want to come to an office where the team works well together and cares for each other.
So how about this one? “A happy team should not be a pipe dream.” 😉
About the Author
Audrey Clements, DAADOM, is the Office Manager at Yulee Family Dentistry in NE Florida. She has been in the dental field for over 30 years, beginning her career as a dental assistant and gradually working her way up to the role of Office Manager.
Audrey is a lifetime member of AADOM, achieving Fellowship in 2019 and her Mastership in 2021. Most recently, she received her Diplomate (DAADOM) designation during the AADOM National meeting in early September. She is currently the Vice President of her local NE Florida AADOM Chapter.