Optimize What & Who You Have During a Transition

Real World Insights from AADOM Authors - Stacy Singleton

As an administrator of multiple practices, I rely heavily on my financial coordinator as my second in command. When she gave her notice to open her own remote A/R business, I was very excited and proud of her. I encouraged her choice and would support her in any way I could. However, I couldn’t help but selfishly think about how it impacted my day-to-day and the office’s needs. Now what?

My business side took over, and I prioritized the next steps to make a smooth transition. My approach was one of open communication and transparency with my staff. I saw this as an opportunity to assess the team and practice needs and see where adjustments can be made with their input. While many look for the ideal candidate to fill that ideal role within the practice, we could look at our current team members and utilize the skill set they already bring to the table.

We have many cross-trained employees who utilize their skills daily across the practice. Communicating and being honest with the team members about the upcoming transition was key. I allowed each and every member to think about what this transition meant and what current tasks and responsibilities they liked and disliked. We know there will always be those challenging tasks that aren’t our favorite. However, someone else may excel and embrace the challenge. This is the opportunity to rewrite the job descriptions.

My ultimate goal is patient care, practice production, and the health and happiness of my team. Giving them the ability to co-write their own job descriptions gave them empowerment and enthusiasm about their role. This allowed me to determine what skills and goals they want to incorporate individually as well as for the practice.

The team members supported and influenced one another, providing comfort in moving forward in the transition. There is always an uneasiness around the unknown that change brings, whether it’s a team player leaving or a practice buyout. Make sure your systems are in place and you stand behind your policies to ensure a smooth transition. Your team will also embrace and look forward to what’s ahead. Incorporate their ideas and suggestions in their job descriptions, scheduling, office décor, organization, ordering, and work schedule flow. Consider and respect what your team is saying during this time. The fact that they are comfortable enough to speak up and share their concerns cannot be dismissed when you ask for their input. Respect their feedback. The last thing you want to do is lose more team members because they feel they were not heard.

When given the opportunity, your team members will embrace the change and take on additional delegated tasks. Optimizing your team members’ skills and input and listening to their goals will allow you to implement an easy transition for new job openings or practice buyouts.

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About the Author

Headshot of Stacy Singleton

Stacey Singleton, MAADOM, has been in the dental field since 1997. She is a certified and expanded function dental auxiliary in Maine & New Hampshire and holds her business administration management degree from Hesser College. She is the practice administrator for Harborside Dental and York County Pediatric Dentistry. Stacey is a lifetime member of AADOM. She received her AADOM Fellowship (FAADOM) in 2017 and her AADOM Mastership (MAADOM) designation in 2022. She has completed the requirements and will be inducted as an AADOM Diplomate (DAADOM) at the national conference in September. She is also the founding president of the Southern Maine AADOM Chapter. Stacey is a dental adjunct professor at YCCC’s dental assistant program as well.

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