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4 Strategies to Strengthen Your Team Culture & Results

Judy Kay Mausolf with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

Raising standards does not necessarily mean we always reap better results. It is only the first step. Yet, we often continue to raise standards in hopes of raising performance. However, adjusting the standards alone will not affect the end result.

I absolutely love to help dental teams co-create a work culture that they enjoy coming to every day! What I found after working with teams across the nation, regardless of the town size, is that team happiness and success are directly linked to the following 4 strength builders.

Strength builder one: Model the waddle

Model the waddle you want to see. In other words, walk the walk! If leaders don’t “lead by example,” it’s next to impossible to raise the level of performance of everyone else. People will not trust a leader who says one thing but does another; it’s impossible to support people we don’t trust. People will do as you do, not as you say.

Start from the top down. Leaders set realistic standards. Live and maintain them. Don’t enable double standards.

If you want your team’s focus to be what’s in the best interests of the patients, the practice, and the team, yours must be as well. Actions always speak louder than words. If you say one thing and do another, your team will start to be suspicious of everything you tell them. You’re likely to lose their trust. And they’re less likely to think you know what you’re doing. The practice culture will falter when your team doesn’t trust or respect your leadership.

Strength builder two: Communicate specific expectations

Clearly define the expectations you’re looking for. A team meeting setting works best if you want to get everyone on board. Don’t generalize; be specific. Get deep enough for everyone to understand the what, who, when, where, why, and how behind each standard that’s being set. Then discuss potential obstacles and a plan of action.

Allow input from the entire team to create immediate ownership from each staff member. Once everyone has agreed on the standard, print, and title it as your “Standard Operating Procedure” (SOP).

Strength builder three: Monitor results and give feedback

Monitor and address results on a daily basis. Your daily huddles (what I refer to as accountability meetings) allow the team to discuss and provide real-time feedback on successes and growth opportunities. If it’s specific to only one or two team members, meet with them separately.

Monthly team meetings offer the opportunity to dive deeper into benchmark reviews in terms of quality, quantity, timeliness, and feedback.

Strength builder four: Get commitment

It is necessary for every team member to support the practice standards with positive attitudes, words, and actions. Whenever you’re implementing a new standard, system, or protocol, ask each team member to verbally commit their support in front of the entire team.

There may be times you can’t get that one team member on board even when utilizing the first three principles. The reality is that they have their own agenda and therefore are unwilling to commit to supporting yours. Performance standards are based on best practices for the greater good of the patients, practice, and the team… not any individual.

If they’re only willing to do what they choose and are only concerned about what’s in it for them, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. If they want to be a part of the team, it’s necessary to support the team standards. Otherwise, wish them well and let them join another team that may be a better fit with their agenda.

Yes, I know, they may be extremely good at what they do when they want to be. They’re usually excellent with the patients but toxic to the team. In most cases, they are and will use it as leverage to hold the doctor hostage. However, if you allow one team member to not support the practice standards, you sacrifice the entire team’s performance!

The bottom line is that if they’re not supporting, they’re sabotaging the practice culture.

Implementing these four strength builders will help you develop a happier and more successful workplace culture!

Meet the Author

Headshot of Judy Kay Mausolf, blog post author

Judy Kay Mausolf is a speaker, author, and dental culture specialist with expertise in helping others become happier and more successful!

She coaches dentists and their teams on how to become effective leaders, communicate more clearly, work together better, and deliver service with greater focus and passion, which results in cultivating a happier, healthier, and higher-performing culture.

She is Past President of the National Speakers Association (Minnesota Chapter)… This text opens a new tab to the NSA Minnesota website…, Director of Sponsoring Partners for the Speaking Consulting Network… This text opens a new tab to the Speaking Consulting Network website…, a member of the National Speakers Association… This text opens a new tab to the National Speakers Association website… and Academy of Dental Management Consultants… This text opens a new tab to the Academy of Dental Management Consultants website…, and recognized as a leader in consulting by Dentistry Today… This text opens a new tab to the Dentistry Today website….

She is the author of two books: Ta-Dah! and Rise & Shine!, and a contributing author for many dental magazines. She also publishes a monthly newsletter entitled Show Your Shine… This text opens a new tab to the Show Your Shine blog….

Judy Kay lives in Minnesota with her awesome husband, Steve, who makes her special coffee every morning, and Zoe…their “it’s all about me” 7-pound Yorkie!

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