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Get Smart With Your Staff: Part 1

Get Smart With Your Staff: Part 1

Many dental practices can appear very busy, but over the years, when I have drilled down into my client's numbers (pardon the pun), I have found many were underproducing by as much as 40% or more based on their production capacity.

For a practice to produce at the highest level it is capable of, the key has everything to do with your staff and your skills in leading and managing them.

The practice owner

From a management viewpoint, the biggest problem in most dental offices is the practice owner. Why? Because most dentists want to be Dr. Nice with their staff. This translates into an avoidance in dealing with staff situations, which then fester and eventually blow up while production suffers.

The skill most practice owners need most is not how to book an appointment, verify insurance, or confirm appointments. While these and other systems are vital, what practice owners are mostly missing are the skills needed to create a team of willing and responsible staff who take initiative.

The Dr. Nice syndrome ties right into another production killer ...

Disagreements

Have you ever walked into a restaurant or any other business and noticed employees who didn't get along? How did it make you feel? Probably like turning around and getting the heck out of there.

I recently received a call from a dentist who was at his wits' end about an ongoing conflict between two of his staff members. Short of locking the two in a room and throwing away the key, he was at a loss as to what to do. I told him he didn't need to anything.

"Are you kidding? I'm pulling my hair out here," he said.

“The biggest problem in most dental offices is the practice owner.”
I took a deep breath.

"I understand, but there's a much bigger problem in your practice," I said.

"What could be a bigger problem than this?" he growled.

I took an even bigger breath.

"The problem is you."

Sound familiar? Anyway, that knocked him for a loop. Then it began to sink in. He was the one who had allowed a skirmish to turn into all-out warfare by letting it smolder.

No weak links

Dental practices are considered to be a small business in terms of how many staff members are employed. Therefore, no dental practice can afford any weak links if that practice is to operate at high level of efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

All your staff must "have your back." There are no in-betweens. When a practice owner fears getting rid of an employee or thinks the employee is irreplaceable, staff sense the fear, and some will try to take advantage.

Noncompliance

When staff do not follow even the most common-sense policies, this is a breakdown in either the practice's hiring protocol or the practice owner's leadership and management skills.

Staff noncompliance is a sure sign of poor leadership. It is vital for practice owners to identify what management and leadership skills they lack and take action to remedy any deficiencies, such as poor communication skills or a tendency to micromanage staff.

I have found a properly designed morning huddle is a key management tool to assist in getting staff to follow through on vital tasks. This is where staff members are held accountable. Key numbers are reviewed. The day and week are gone over as to how on or off target the practice is for the monthly goals, as well as task assignments, targets, and even quotas. With a proper format and form, the huddle should take no longer than 10 to 15 minutes.

Patient retention Tip #2
Patient retention Tip #1

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Dr. Jeremy Johnson, DDS, Monroe, WA

Dental Consultant  WashingtonI'm extremely happy with my decision to utilize Cambridge Dental Consultants. My dental practice consulting has been awesome! I love that I can call or email him whenever and always get a quick response. He even calls and checks in if he hasn't heard from me for a bit. My production increased immediately after the first in-office visit and has continued to climb. The initial investment was recouped in increased production about seven weeks after our first meeting.

My average per day production for the first four months I worked with Cambridge Dental Consultants has been 20-25% higher than the prior two years. In fact, all of the four months have had higher average per day production than ANY month in the two years prior to working with Mike.

Last month I produced more than I ever have in one month since starting my practice in 2003. On top of that is the fact that my staff is driving all of this growth! They tell me which op to go to and when, then they get all excited when we exceed our goals! These four months have been the best months of my career!

That's a lot of exclamation points! This is all to suggest that you give Cambridge Dental Consultants a call.

Dr. Shane Blake, DDS, Coudersport, PA

Shane BlakI have owned my dental practice since January 2005.  The practice is a rural solo provider practice.   The practice has always been successful but something was always lacking.   I did not manage the practice by the numbers and its shortfalls were overcome by sheer determination and hard work for both myself and the staff. 

My motivating factors to sign up with Cambridge Dental Consultants in January of 2017 were that I had reached a point in my career where time with my family was worth more to me than the professional fulfillment that dentistry can provide.  The practice was so micromanaged that it required most of my time and I didn’t understand how to motivate both myself and my staff beyond the sheer nose to the grindstone path to success that had guided us the prior 12 years. 

Cambridge Dental Consultants was instrumental in educating each staff member in what expectations are and how performance for each position is measured.   Staff members became more aware of their part in the overall success of the practice and doing their part.  Ultimately this led to a less stressful and more productive average day which decreased management stress and headaches and allowed life to be enjoyed just a little bit more with a little more time. 

We have had many changes in the practice after our initial integration over the last 1 ½ years.  Cambridge Dental Consultants has been helpful in navigating those planned and unplanned changes.  My only regret is I had not use Cambridge''s systems sooner.

Dr. Kristin Rushing, DDS, Nashville, TN

Dental Consultant TennesseeI used Cambridge Dental Consultants as well, it gave me a good foundation for employees to know what was expected of them as well as very detailed job descriptions that could be used to train new employees if I needed to replace a staff member. My dental practice consulting made me more  knowledgeable about what my numbers and percentages should be but also things to look for when they are off.

Everyone is accountable for their numbers and communicate better as a team. We all want to be more productive and time was spent looking into my specific concerns as well as reviewing all facets of the business. Everything was reviewed including input from staff on ways to improve the office. I feel the morale in my office has changed and we are overall headed in a much better direction. As a side note, I've used a different consultants previously and their motto was simply to increase production. Patients felt pressured and we still had communication issues among the staff.

Dr. Andrea Mulholland, DDS, Columbus, OH

Dental Consultant FloridaI have been the owner of a general dental practice for ten years now. I work four days a week and have an associate who is with me for three days.

The practice has always done well but I knew there were many aspects of it that needed improvement but I didn't know how to proceed. I researched several practice management companies but decided to go with a Cambridge Dental Consultants because of their good reputation and because I didn't feel pressured.

Cambridge Dental Consultants worked with me for the past year and a half and he has helped my practice tremendously. He really knows the ins and outs of a practice but I appreciated that he didn't use a cookie-cutter approach. He really treated my practice like the individual practice that it is and I didn't feel pressured to follow any suggestions that I wasn't comfortable with.

I know there are a lot of dental practice consultants out there. I just really feel like Cambridge Dental Consultants is one of the best and was the best for me and my practice..

Dr. Ron McHargue, DDS, Moses Lake, WA

Dental Consultant New York Nassau CountyI was fresh out of school when I bought my practice in 2012. It came riddled with staff issues and I had no knowledge of business. I thought I could handle it and went for a year and a half before really coming to the realization that I was in over my head. I was stressed completely and needed help with staff issues and business advice.

I contacted Cambridge Dental Consultants because of what I read on Dentaltown and because of their fair price and money back guarantee. Our Cambridge Dental Consultant was very helpful in getting me over a couple of big hurdles dealing with staff. I now have a direction and a good plan for tracking numbers and keeping a pulse on my practice. I was hesitant to even hire a consultant, but I am very glad I did and wouldn't hesitate to get Cambridge back and work with them again

Dr. Ed Warr, DMD, Ashland, OR

Dental Consultant  OregonMy experience with Cambridge Dental Consultants has been great. In June of 2014 I was very concerned as my year was down by about 6% from the previous year. I had used dental practice consultants before and hadn't liked any of them. But, I knew I needed help with what I did not know - I went to school to earn a DMD, not an MBA.

After researching several and having several phone conversations regarding their methods, I committed with Dental Consultants.

Their money back guarantee was a nice touch to lower the risk factor for me. So, I finished 2014 up 8% over 2013. In six months, Dental Consultants helped me introduce practices that helped me have a 14% turn around in six months. I whole heartedly recommend Cambridge and their services.

Dr. Jeffrey D. Weaver, DDS, Port Royal, SC

Dental Consultant South CarolinaWe have been using Cambridge Dental Consultants since Dec 2013. We are really just getting started, but so far everything has been great. They really have given us the tools to quickly get our team focussed, and have created systems and measurable statistics for each area. YTD for 2014 compared to 2013, our production is up 12% (over $20,000).

Our office felt "stuck", like we simply did not know what we should be doing to get better. We knew the potential was there, but did not know the next steps to take. What we liked from the start is that Cambridge dental consultant has been in every type of office and seen every type of problem/issue there is. Their ideas are proven and, so far, we have been very happy with the results. Our team is really pleased with the direction we are going.

We built our office in 2007 and, had we known, would have started with a dental practice management consultant much sooner. Good luck with your decision. I think you will be very pleased with Cambridge Dental Consulting.

 

 

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