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Why Is Teamwork Essential?

Claudia Paye, DAADOM with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

Teamwork is essential for acquiring a smooth and positive work environment.

It’s not vital to be friends with your co-workers outside of work, but it’s important that you work well together in the office.

If there’s one hiccup and team members don’t communicate or work well with one another, the whole team can feel its stress throughout the day.

Or, if a team member doesn’t work well with another, the office’s atmosphere will suffer.

Teamwork can be boosted in the office by avoiding micro-managing, team-outing events, and respecting each other’s work time.

Keep reading for tips on making your dental practice stronger by building team morale.

The threat of micro-management

Micro-managing is when a person feels the need to control every small part of what someone else is doing.

The micro-manager can be any team member, not just someone in a position of authority.

In some cases, team members may not be aware that they’re being micro-managed. They may feel a lingering cloud of uneasiness at work.

Signs of a micro-manager may include:

  • Someone who discourages independent decision making
  • A high turnover rate at work
  • Being rarely satisfied with their team members’ quality of work
  • Having unrealistic deadlines and expectations

A great alternative to micro-managing is to:

  • Take a step back
  • Set real-time expectations
  • Listen to your co-workers/employees
  • Allow them to make decisions within reason
  • Be there when they need help

Bonding away from work

Bonding with your team outside of the dental office can make team members more comfortable around each other and may even create friendships.

Although there should be some separation between personal and professional life, from my experience, I work best with people with who I’ve developed a friendship outside of work.

The most effective type of team building outside of the workplace is when you can work together to complete a task, such as volunteer work.

There has been extensive research to show that when employees come together to help others, they develop strong work relationships.

And here’s the thing:

Volunteering is not the only option.

You can also choose fun events such as dinner, bowling, or an escape room just to get out of the office and get to know each other on a personal level.

Valuing others’ time

It’s vital to respect each other’s work time.

Suppose you set an unrealistic timeline for a project to be completed (that you personally wouldn’t be able to accomplish). In that case, you shouldn’t expect someone else to be able to do it.

It’s also important to note that everyone has their strengths and talents.

An example would be to allow a hygienist adequate time for the specific types of cleanings scheduled for that day.

You can’t expect a hygienist to complete an SCRP in the same amount as a prophy or a general dentist to complete a root canal in the same amount of time as a filling.

Respecting people’s time can be displayed through:

  • Starting and ending a meeting on time
  • Letting people know when you’re behind schedule
  • Giving others your undivided attention

A better workplace for everyone

We can say that teamwork is vital in the workplace, but we need to understand why.

Our job is to assist patients who often require many treatments in the dental world.

They trust in us to complete their care to the highest possible standard.

Without a high-functioning team and fluid communication in the office, the quality of treatments and office morale will suffer.

Quality teamwork results from:

  • Avoiding micro-management
  • Developing personal relationships with one another outside of work
  • Having respect for each other’s time

In both my personal and professional experience, these strategies are the foundation for building a solid team.

Ultimately, they lead to a seamless, positive work environment.

Meet the Author

Claudia Paye, DAADOMClaudia Paye, DAADOM is a lifetime AADOM member.

In 2016, she was awarded the Henry Schein Green Leader Award, and in 2017, she was named one of the Top 25 Women in Dentistry.

Claudia is also a recipient of the AADOM Office Manager of Distinction award. She is a former president of the New York, NY AADOM Chapter and is now a proud board member of the Northeast Florida AADOM Chapter… This text opens a new tab to the NE FL chapter’s website….

Claudia received her AADOM Fellowship, (FAADOM) in 2014 and in 2020 earned her AADOM Mastership (MAADOM).

Most recently, Claudia was inducted into AADOM’s first class of Diplomates, (DAADOM), in 2021.

For over twenty years, she has prided herself on amazing service to her patients and the surrounding communities.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, running Disney marathons, and listening to country music. She is also a proud mother to four and a new grandmother.


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