Welcome to week three of June! This month we’re going through a four-part series on how to build healthy leadership culture. In last week’s post we discussed integrity. This week, let’s talk about how to improve teamwork throughout all areas of your practice.
Dentistry is, by its very nature, a collaborative effort. One mid-sized practice can require a dentist, a practice manager, a front desk team, hygienists, and dental assistants, all of whom must work together to provide excellent patient care. However, just because a practice has a group of people working together doesn’t mean that it exhibits a culture of teamwork.
Real teamwork takes time, effort, and discipline to build and maintain and is an essential part of healthy leadership culture. Here are three of the elements that make teamwork blossom in the workplace:
Trust & Self-Awareness
Creating an environment of trust and self-awareness is an essential foundation for teamwork in your practice. Each colleague should be expected to always think about how their actions affect their team, other teams, and the practice as a whole.
This kind of others-focused attitude builds respect amongst colleagues, and from respect comes trust. When team members trust each other, they feel safer asking others for help without fear of judgement. Fostering an environment of trust and self-awareness not only helps your team feel more comfortable around each other, but can also help them tackle problems more effectively.
Schedule Regular Team Meetings
Never underestimate the value of a good old-fashioned team huddle. Regularly scheduled times for your clinical and non-clinical teams to meet both separately and together are important to keep everyone informed. Go over what’s going well, what can be done better, and how each person can contribute to reaching the practice’s goals.
These meetings can take the form of morning huddles, patient prep, end-of-day meetings, or a weekly recap on Friday afternoons. The time and place doesn’t matter as long as there are regular chances for all of your team members to collaborate.
Set Definitive Goals
Building a culture of teamwork often requires setting definitive goals that require cooperation to achieve. These goals can relate to productivity, patient satisfaction, sales, or any other thing you can think of to drive excellence in your practice.
Take time in your regular meetings to introduce these goals to your colleagues, brainstorm ways to achieve them, and share the progress you’ve made. Having a common goal in mind can motivate your team to work together to achieve it, building great teamwork skills along the way.
At the end of the day, a practice that thrives on teamwork is a happier, more positive environment for everyone involved. Patients will notice when your team works together to provide them with an excellent, streamlined experience. And when difficulties arise, your team won’t just survive – they’ll thrive.
Make sure to check back next week for the final installment of the series!
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