Currently, most dental practices are pushing the need for the “perfect” patient experience. Identifying and creating the ideal patient experience is so incredibly important, but there is something even more vital that most are failing to recognize.
Employees are a company’s most important asset. Without a strong team, most practices will continue to have a revolving door of employees, and in turn, they will fail to cultivate the perfect patient experience. It is proven time and time again that happy employees create an even happier patient experience.
On the flip side, statistics show that 85% of people are not happy at work. Richard Branson famously stated that his company Virgin does not put the customer first. In fact, he states, “Virgin employees are the company’s top priority”. (https:// www.inc.com/oscar-raymundo/richard-branson-companies-should-put-employees-first.html)
Refining the perfect patient experience starts with the employee to Dentist relationship. A successful practice has everything to do with how you invest in your employees and yourself.
We know that when employees are able to strive for an attainable yet high goal that they bonus off of, it sets a fire in their work structure. We also know that when employees are acknowledged for the good that they do on a regular basis, it significantly boosts office moral. We understand that when people feel work/ life balance they will come to work and perform at their peak performance. All of these scenarios will benefit any practice!
So – the big question – how do you create a great team experience?
Here are a few actionable steps you can take to create a better experience for each of your employees.
Increase Employee Engagement
We always suggest that each team member take a personality test. It is important to have a versatile team that can complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We recommend using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. In addition, provide your team with the resources they need for success including creating a budget for CE courses. Frequently survey team members to make sure they feel engaged and involved as a vital member of the team.
Empower Your Team
Set clear but achievable goals together. It is important to acknowledge team and personal accomplishments. We understand that everyone is different and everyone wants to be acknowledged differently; some in public, others in private, others through gifts. Ask each team member how they prefer to be acknowledged to keep them feeling comfortable but appreciated.
Create a recurring evaluation structure. We recommend holding evaluations with each employee at around their first 90-days of employment, and then every 6-months thereafter. Incorporate regular fair and appropriate pay raises. Applaud positive communication during daily morning meetings. Make sure each employee feels secure in their job and comfortable to communicate any frustrations they may be feeling.
It is evident that creating the perfect patient experience clearly isn’t about shortening appointments to get more patients in the door or offering 12-hour work days 6-days a week while your dedicated team and Doctors are getting burned out without a work-life balance.
We have found that the key to creating the perfect patient experience, one where patients enjoy being at the office, where they feel safe and comfortable, is all about how you as the owner invests in his practice. When a patient feels safe and comfortable, they will in turn increase your scheduled treatment and retention rates, while trusting you to their friends and family as well.
Go ahead give yourself a break, invest in your team, and you will be blown away by your practice’s growth!