A Whole is Greater Than a Sum of Its Parts

Dental Team

First coined by the philosopher Aristotle, the phrase “a whole is greater than a sum of its parts” still has a lot of relevance in this day in age. This is the basis behind the idea of teamwork. If the full dental team isn’t working in synergy your practice isn’t going to be as effective, efficient or run as smoothly as it could, or should, be.

Everything in your practice is connected to everything else in some way.  If the front desk schedules an appointment 30 minutes too short, then you run behind, other patients wait, dental assistants are frantic, and you are stressed.  There are few duties and jobs which don’t affect someone or something else in your practice. It critical that all your dental employees work together as a team if you want to create the successful practice you have always envisioned.

Do you know how well your dental team works together? Below are ten questions to help you evaluate teamwork in your practice.

  1. Do all your employees offer to help, and actually do help, other employees before leaving each day?  
  1. When your employees have down time during the day do they stay in the office working on practice related duties and projects or leave to address personal issues?
  1. Do all your employees clean their own instruments, work spaces, and kitchen items as well as help others when they get backed up? 
  1. Do all your employees attend and participate in your team seminars, training sessions, conventions, and events? 
  1. Are all your employees aware of when the practice is running behind schedule and go outside their “job duties” to help everyone catch up and make waiting patients feel valued? 
  2. Do all your employees religiously follow the practice’s uniform system? 
  3. When something goes wrong in the practice, do your employees take responsibility for their part and help find a solution or do they simply shift the blame to others? 
  4. Are your employees always on time for work, team meetings, morning huddles, birthday celebrations, after lunch patients, seminars, etc.? 
  5. Do all your employees have a copy of your Employee Handbook and their detailed Job Description? Are they following them?  
  1. Are each of your employees motivated and enthusiastic about achieving the goals of the practice, improving the practice’s performance, and improving their skills?

If you didn’t answer “yes” to all of these questions, then you are simply “playing” next to employees who happen to be standing on the same playing field as you, not with team players. This situation can drive you and your high performing employees crazy, and the results can be extremely detrimental to you, your practice, and your patients. Developing your dental team into a high-functioning team is the answer and will reduce your workload and stress while increasing your production and collections.

Your employees are one of your most valuable assets, but if they aren’t working together in unison they are not providing you as much value as they could. So take action now to transform your employees into team players, because you have latent potential just waiting to be captured.

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