dental teamIn my last article, I talked about one strategy for implementing change in your practice. This concept focused on changing the actions of the dental team in order to eventually have their beliefs conform to those actions.

The strategy we will explore in this article takes the opposite approach. At this point, I am sure most you are thinking that I am contradicting myself – but it is important to remember that there is no right way to motivate behavior. Additionally, as a leader, you will need to choose the one that works for you and your dental team.

Setting the Framework for Your Dental Team

The strategy is simply to find ways to involve your dental team in the decision making of the practice. By doing this, they feel that they have a say in what is happening and will generally work harder to achieve something they have been a part of. The key to making this work is to carefully set the framework for their involvement.

For example let's say you have made the decision to hire a new hygienist and you want your dental team to get behind this new person 100 percent. It would be in your best interest to involve them in the hiring decision.

But when should you do this? That is the real question at-hand.

It would not be in the decision to hire or not hire; this is something that you, as a business owner, need to decide based on the economics of your individual practice. It would also not be in your best interest to try to bring them in when you are screening resumes, as there are too many unknowns at that point in the process. Your ideal time is when you have it narrowed down to the last couple of candidates. That way you have time to assess the skills and qualities you desire and you present those prequalified candidates to the office for their assessment.

Finally if you want this to work you do have to take their opinions into account when you make a decision. If you only ask to make them feel like they have a say but then do not listen to anything of their recommendations, this will backfire badly. The key is to bring them in at a point in the decision making process were their input really becomes valuable.

In the hiring example, it is after you have assessed the economics of the practice and the skills of the candidate. Then you need your staff's help to assess how they will fit in with the rest of the dental team, because if they don't like the candidate, they won't succeed in the long-run.

Adam McWethy, MA-HRIR, SPHR, is the Director of Human Resources and Faculty at Spear Education.

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