How To Create a Positive Dental Office Culture
Culture is a way of life for a group of people. When it comes to a dental practice, this includes everyone from the dental assistants to the patients. Every dental office culture is as unique as the people who cultivate it, affecting team member job satisfaction, patient retention, and quality of patient care.
It’s crucial for every dental practice to create a culture that prioritizes its team members and patients over profit. Your dental practice’s success depends on it. But how do you foster a positive dental office culture?
A positive culture in your office will lead to immense dental practice success and prevent burnout. When you build a positive culture, your team will remain energized and excited to come to work. But how do you maintain that energy year-round?
Here are a few simple shifts that will orient the culture of your office toward business success.
1. Understand why dental office culture matters.
When patients feel a positive environment, they are more likely to enjoy the experience and accept treatment plans. They will likely be loyal and refer new patients to expand your business.
Not only does your company culture impact your patients, but it impacts new team members. If your office exhibits a negative culture, potential team members may not accept a job offer or quit shortly after starting.
2. Focus on your core values.
Sometimes it’s best to go back to the beginning. What were your dreams when you started or joined your practice? Start making your decisions based on these values to emphasize them. You’ll earn more respect from your team when you highlight what you value.
Identify what sets your office apart from other local practices. What can you offer patients that your competitors can’t? It may be anything from a specific service to more convenient hours for your patients.
3. Communicate effectively.
Communicating with your team establishes your business as one that cares about its employees. Whether you send out weekly emails or hold regular team meetings, it’s crucial to communicate key decisions.
Encourage an exchange of ideas that will lead to innovative problem-solving. Allowing your team members to contribute makes them comfortable discussing their concerns and demonstrates that positive changes are possible.
4. Mentor and give feedback.
Team members, especially new ones, want to know what they are doing well and how to excel in their roles. Having a mentor program matches new team members with experienced ones to help them understand how the office works. They can receive ongoing, positive, and specific feedback to improve their skills.
5. Tune in to your team’s needs.
Prioritize connecting with new team members. They are often nervous and feel out of place. Not including them in lunchtime conversations can make them feel left out or like they are not a part of the team.
You can build greater team satisfaction by planning social events for your team to enjoy. It’s easy to get burnt out, so having an ice cream social or trivia night after work can boost morale. However, these events must align with your practice values.
6. Encourage creative problem-solving.
Allow your team to solve their own problems creatively. Provide positive feedback to team members who take initiative and find solutions. Make it a point to discuss how they addressed these problems appropriately.
7. When hiring, consider the patient base you want to draw in.
Hiring a new team member can affect your office in many ways. One way is by attracting new patients. Keep this in mind during hiring by searching for someone who will uphold the core values of your office.
8. Never stop learning.
Approach everything from a learning perspective. There is always a lesson when you look closely enough. This encourages everyone to talk about problems when they arise and find creative solutions.
9. Embrace continuing education.
Continually think about how learning more can expand your practice. You should enroll in courses regularly and encourage and incentivize continuing education for team members who take a course that would benefit the entire practice.
10. Lead by example.
You set the tone for your dental office culture. When you have a positive attitude and participate in continuing education courses, you encourage your team members to do the same. This establishes a culture of respect and idea sharing.
Lead by example by maintaining a positive attitude, following through on what you say, and sticking to the rules that you expect your team to follow.
Start establishing your office culture with orthodontic continuing education.
The American Orthodontic Society wants to help set you up for dental practice success. We offer various continuing education courses that will help your dental practice grow. Enroll to learn the basics of orthodontics, or take your practice to the next level with our Digital Aligner Bootcamp. Contact the American Orthodontic Society today to learn more about our courses!
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.