8 Ideas for Challenging Your Team Members

Achieve consistent success in your dental practice by challenging your team.

As a dentist and practice owner, you already know the immense importance of creating a team of high-achieving, committed individuals. From office staff keeping the business end running to dental assistants working with you side-by-side, your employees are immeasurably valuable to the success of your dental practice.

Keeping employees performing their best requires one very important element: consistent, achievable challenges. Giving your team motivation and opportunities to grow reignites that passion and energy for providing the highest level of dental care possible to patients.

Here are 8 ways to challenge your team in a rewarding, effective manner that benefits everyone.

1. Push team members to pursue education and practice expertise in areas that interest them.

A golden rule of success in the dental field is to never stop learning. Challenge your employees to continue their education in dental care through taking courses, attending lectures, and through private study. Look for ways to facilitate their growth by allowing for a flexible schedule so they can attend classes and learn new skills. As a team member levels up in their expertise, encourage them to practice it by taking a position of leadership in your practice.

2. Support team members in joining local, regional, and national dental associations and groups.

Joining and actively participating in local and national associations, societies, and groups is important. Team members will be able to make new connections, expand their knowledge, and remain up-to-date with changes in our ever-evolving industry. Team members who are able to take a position of leadership or even teaching should also be gently encouraged to pursue these options if their schedule allows.

3. When obstacles arise, go to your team to discuss solutions for solving the problem.

You may be the leader of your team, but that doesn’t mean you should take on all of the troubleshooting. Challenge your employees to aid in problem-solving whenever an obstacle or problem arises. Reach out to them to provide ideas for solutions to solve the issue at hand. This provokes critical thinking and also gives employees confidence that you value their ideas.

4. Show your confidence in your team by delegating responsibilities and then getting out of the way.

If you own a practice, chances are high you have a natural ability to lead and manage. However, these valuable traits can sometimes get in the way of growth and independence within your team. Remember, you hired your employees because you can’t do everything for yourself, so start giving more responsibilities to your employees. Ensure the responsibilities are achievable and then step away and let them handle it.

5. Create an atmosphere that naturally triggers great performance from all team members.

The environment you create is instrumental in how your employees perform. Create a culture in your practice that promotes open communication, collaboration, and celebration of successes. Some practices create private groups through online platforms where employees can virtually discuss and share new ideas or solutions. Be sure to match this energy to motivate team members to promote the same atmosphere amongst coworkers.

6. Go out of your way to acknowledge successes in your team and give your genuine appreciation.

Challenging employees to be the best they can also includes acknowledging their efforts during the process. Loyalty and motivation to do your best occur naturally when you feel appreciated. Provide this to your employees by taking time every day to offer a compliment and genuine appreciation for everything they do. It may be a specific task they excelled at or simply a kind word recognizing how valuable they are to your team.

7. Practice what you preach by setting an example of how you’d like your team to perform.

Indirectly challenge your employees to be their very best by showing them how you apply the same expectations to yourself. Take the initiative to further your education and actively apply new techniques when working with patients. Practice open communication and don’t hesitate to share any obstacles you may be facing. Think of your ideal team member and how they act, then emulate it in your daily life at work.

8. Add new treatment options, such as orthodontic care, to your practice’s services.

Being able to offer new services to patients is exciting and highly motivating. Orthodontic care is a fantastic choice as it enables patients to get the dental care they desire without the need to see a specialist. This benefits your practice as much as it benefits your patients. Going through additional education and integration of something like basic straight wire orthodontics is also an obvious challenge for you as well as your team. 

Learn more about adding orthodontic care to your practice.

The American Orthodontic Society provides a fantastic course for general and pediatric dentists interested in expanding into orthodontics. The Comprehensive Basic Straight Wire course is presented by Dr. Bradford R. Williams and will leave you with the confidence to begin treating patients.

To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.

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