How Healthy Is Your Office Culture? – Creating a Learning Environment

This is the last installment of a four-part series. Click here for parts one, two, and three.

As June comes to a close, so does our series on building healthy leadership culture. Over the past few weeks we’ve examined three of the four elements defined by Dr. Toby Cosgrove: leading through change, maintaining integrity, and fostering teamwork.

Now it’s time to dive into the final element and talk about creating an environment of learning in your practice.

It’s no secret that the field of dentistry is always changing. Between new regulations, advances in technology, and changes in patient expectations, hardly a day goes by without something new happening.

In order to keep up, it’s important to build your practice on a foundation of learning and growth. Here are a few ways to get started:

Provide Opportunities to Learn

Providing educational opportunities can be a serious investment, but it’s definitely a worthy one.  When your team stays up to date on the latest developments in their fields, your practice can continue to operate with a high standard of excellence.

There are many ways to facilitate learning that don’t involve sending your team to expensive conferences. Check to see if another dental practice will split the cost of a CE course that both of you can benefit from, or take advantage of a lunch-and-learn that educates your team about new products and techniques in the span of an hour. Try holding in-house cross-training events throughout the year where each discipline (both clinical and non-clinical) takes a few minutes to educate everyone on specific issues they face. A little creative thinking is all it takes to come up with tons of opportunities for your team to learn.

Discover Topics of Interest

Investing time and money in education can be pointless if your team isn’t interested in what they’re learning. Try using quarterly surveys to gauge their needs and desires, and ask for suggestions on what educational methods to use. People are more likely to truly engage in learning when they have a say in choosing the topic.

Offer Incentives

If you’d like to see your team achieve specific educational goals, offering incentives can give an extra motivational boost. Consider awarding a bonus check for completion of a certification or offering promotional opportunities for completing extra training. This little bit of encouragement can go a long way in making sure your team stays invested in continuous learning.

Building a healthy leadership culture in your practice takes time and effort, but is by no means impossible. We hope that over the past four weeks you’ve discovered many things you already excel at, along with a few opportunities for growth and development. When your values are leading through change, maintaining integrity, fostering teamwork, and creating an environment of learning, your practice’s culture is set up to thrive.

Click here to see how DentalForms streamlines processes so your team can spend less time on busywork and more time learning.

Lindsay Kyle, LindenWords