3 Rules to Thrive & Survive Dental Practice Team Changes
By: Jenn Janicki, Executive Director CMS
One of the most challenging things that doctors deal with is developing their team, and dealing with dental practice team changes. Not only from recruitment to selection, but also throughout the work of training, refining, and supporting their growth so that they in turn can support yours.
At an important point in my career, I received some wise advice from one of my most impactful coaches. It is especially relevant to the dental team dynamic. They said, “The only person you can guarantee will be on your team for the life of your business is you.” That resonated with me, as I knew it was my leadership that would attract, develop, and retain talent. I couldn’t rely on anyone else to do so.
Another piece of advice I treasure that is related to team management is one that I also believe gives us perspective: There is always one member of your team that has one foot out the door, either because they want to or because you want them to.
Acknowledging this helps keep change in perspective, especially since it is inevitable. Teams that have been together for 23 years are as rare as a blue moon and frankly can be somewhat stagnant.
Change makes us vulnerable, which isn’t always a great feeling when running a business. However, building a team based on your vision, values, and mindset can be the most rewarding thing you ever do. So embrace change and remember these 3 rules to not only survive change but thrive:
How to Thrive and Survive Team Changes
1. Be gracious.
If you have a team member quitting or leaving, regardless of how much training you’ve put into them or the advance you gave them last year or the free dentistry done for their family, just be gracious.
Your team is watching how you handle their co-worker’s exit. They are judging you on how you treat that person and how you handle the stress.
2. Be realistic.
Don’t attempt to make do with a smaller workforce indefinitely when the change was unexpected or unplanned. You will burn your people out if you put too much on them for too long. Most high performing teams have no problem stepping up to find the right person. Don’t make too many changes at once or expect perfection in the first month of a new fire or hire.
3. Be patient.
Attracting high-performing talent can be challenging, especially taking into account today’s talent pool of millennial work ethic and the entitlement generation. Don’t panic. Wait for the right fit. Use your team to leverage their contacts for qualified candidates.
Perform 3rd party assessments, like Clifton Strength Finders or Forte Communication or Meyers Briggs, to provide perspective on how candidates view themselves. I’m a huge proponent of hiring for personality and training for skills.
And remember, you are not alone. I promise you are among friends. If there is anything we can do to support you in a transition with your team, we’re just a call away.