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People Before Profits: Training Your New Staff Member

Real-World Insights from AADOM Authors. Author: Judy Kay Mausolf.

At the core of all great dental office managers (including the dentists who lead and support their office managers) is the viewpoint of putting people before profits, especially when it comes to training new staff members.

It’s often a huge change in mindset for many to shift the focus from profits to people. The ironic result is that profits are much greater when we focus on people and not profit.

Great dental management does the following to exemplify the principle, “People before Profits”:

Clarify core values, then eat, breathe, and sleep them.

In other words, live by example and model the behavior.

I suggest limiting core values to no more than four, or it becomes confusing for the team.*

Hire and keep people based on character as well as skillsets.

Never sacrifice character for skillsets.

Toxic performers (people who are highly skilled and toxic to their co-workers) are not welcome to become or stay on the team regardless of their level of skill and longevity.

Develop a training program with defined weekly growth expectations.

When training new staff members, conduct weekly growth reviews with every new team member for their first 90 days.

The growth review is a discussion of accomplishments, obstacles, and opportunities necessary to help them succeed.

The key is to catch people doing things right and showing recognition for it, versus observe them doing things incorrectly and criticize them.

Establish a realistically paced schedule that’s centered on patient care and service, not just the bottom line.

It’s essential to provide consistent service and care to patients and move the team along at a speed that is accurate and complete without running into the next appointment.

Don’t kick the dog.

In other words, refrain from pointing the finger and looking for who can be blamed when the wheels fall off. They most certainly will some days!

Instead, co-create as a team.

Ask, what can be done together to keep the problem from happening again?

Communicate using positive, constructive conversations that build others up instead of criticizing and tearing down.

A good conversation includes five positives for every growth opportunity.

People tend to highlight what they don’t like and take for granted what they do.

What’s amazing is once the focus becomes seeing the positive, the negative often seems very small in comparison.

People lean in and try harder when they feel good about their accomplishments. People shut down and stop trying when they feel bad.

Include the entire team in the decision-making process.

People want to know that their ideas are heard, understood, and at least considered.

Thoughts and opinions must matter to dental management to cultivate creators as opposed to victims. A huddle or team meeting setting where most can attend is perfect.

Before implementing any change, always get feedback from the entire team, including potential obstacles and the opportunities to overcome.

When training new staff members and in everyday operations, valuing people over profits will boost the practice culture, patient experience, and the bottom line! A triple win!

*Contact if you would like to receive a sample of core value words. To receive Judy’s R.I.S.E Implementation Process white page, put “R.I.S.E.” in the subject line.

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 National Speakers Association (Minnesota Chapter), Director of Sponsoring Partners for the Speaking Consulting Network, a member of the National Speakers Association and Academy of Dental Management Consultants, and recognized as a leader in consulting by Dentistry Today.

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.”

Judy Kay lives in M.N. 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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