Help motivate your staff with continuing education.

The daily routine of dentistry can become mundane to us as clinicians and especially to our dental team. Regardless of whether you practice general dentistry or a specialty, it should always be one of your goals to ensure your staff are engaged and have a  positive outlook. Your dental team will be one of the most important factors that determine your practice culture. There are several ways to keep your staff committed to your office and this will help you provide the highest level of patient care.

1. Team Building

There are always tough days at the office whether it is dealing with an insurance issue or patient care. Sometimes staff simply don’t get along. Your main focus should be on dentistry, but there are many times as a dentist we play the role of teacher, therapist, accountant, and technician. Hiring a well-rounded and committed staff is one of the best ways to keep your office running like a well-oiled machine. Schedule team-building exercises during lunch or have mini prep meetings before work to discuss the day and everyone’s roles.

Team-building exercises at continuing education courses for practice management are a great way to meet together, motivate your staff, and have some fun. Some courses will split the subjects between dental management and clinical techniques to motivate staff. We all know that dentistry is not entirely focused on the clinical aspect, but there are also emotional and financial components to consider when taking coursework.

2. Recognize Good Work

Incorporating recognition programs or rewarding positive work and behavior motivates employees to focus on achieving goals. Whether you are celebrating a big production goal or even a small milestone like good team work, it shows you value your employees and their commitment to your office. Staff appreciate feedback and how they can work toward career-related goals. Every productive employee is always looking to do their job well, help the practice, and they expect to be compensated accordingly.

Taking your staff on a continuing education getaway can be an exciting way for your staff to learn and be rewarded. Some courses are local, while others are a flight away or even on a cruise. Investing in your team and rewarding them for hard work will certainly motivate them to be loyal to your practice for many years.

3. Advance Your Team’s Knowledge and Skills

Advancing your employees’ knowledge and skill set is valuable in showing you care about your staff’s professional and personal growth. Signing your staff up for continuing education courses helps to motivate your team to learn new techniques and to grow as a staff member. You may have an assistant that is looking to add new treatments to their skill set or a person interested in cross-training.

The American Orthodontic Society offers Orthodontic Assistant Training Courses to help advance your staff’s knowledge and empower them in the orthodontic specialty. Many employers recognize that being an orthodontic assistant is detail oriented and it is a highly respected and well-compensated position in the dental community.

4. Maintain Good Communication Within Your Team

Great communication is necessary for any productive office. Communication can be in the form of group meetings, an email, or even a note to let employees know how you are handling office issues. Ideally, you should hold staff meetings for the entire team to gather together and discuss progress goals, departmental issues, and address any new policies that may be affecting the office. This is also a good time to discuss new management issues you want to implement.

Scheduling your staff to attend continuing education courses can also be a good way to communicate to them that you want to improve and tailor your team’s skills. Whether you are signing them up for a technique course or a practice management course, it will offer the education, techniques, and language needed to become an expert in their position.

5. Mutual Respect

Give your dental team the respect they deserve to keep them motivated in your practice. How can one do this? It is wise to show them how you appreciate their commitment to your practice by listening to their concerns, taking their ideas into consideration, and implementing team leadership roles. Motivating your staff is an ongoing task that constantly changes and evolves as your practice grows. If you plan to implement a new policy or promise to cross-train, hold true to your promises so your staff takes you seriously.

Maintaining a staff that has a positive outlook and is motivated to grow your practice is difficult, but attainable with hard work. Offering your staff continuing education courses to expand their resumes and careers is invaluable because you are making a direct contribution to their professional and personal growth.

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