6 Ways To Engage Your Team

It’s tough to run a business when your team isn’t on the same page; we have a solution.


1. Purpose

A great team is one that is tied together by a common sense of purpose. A great team is made up of people who thrive on the achievements of each other, who are not jealous of each other’s successes. You can create your dental team by identifying the strengths of your team members and overlooking the weaknesses. This, I believe, may be the single greatest factor in becoming an outstanding leader. Be courageous and confident enough to acknowledge and reinforce the strengths of your team members.

2. Education

Build careers for your team, don’t just give them a job. Team members who have the ability to focus on the future and be comfortable with money inspire confidence in your patients. People who just have a job rarely have either of those capabilities. Invest in them! What have you done with intent to create a work environment that grows and supports the strengths of those who have chosen to follow you? It’s not enough to give them a job description – help them see your vision so they can create a vision of their own. Then do everything in your power to help them realize their vision. If an exceptional leader shares his or her vision for the future with an empowered team, they will take you there.

3. Vision

Do you ever wonder why you go to a CE event or hire a consultant and get great information, yet come home and nothing changes? To overcome being stuck in a rut, you must have a vision and code of conduct where ongoing growth and improvement is expected and where authentic relationships and accountability take place. You must surround yourself with team members of high character who are willing to coach their teammates, as well as be coached by them.

4. Appreciation

Systems work best when employees feel appreciated. Appreciation is communicated in its own language. There are five languages of workplace appreciation. Some of the 5 ways to show appreciation:
Receiving a note complimenting you on a job well done.
Co-worker stopping by your office, spending a few minutes with you.
Having a coworker offer help when they notice you need it.
A gift that has a special connection to something you value.
Enthusiasm, commitment and a positive attitude can be part of your practice if everyone on the team appreciates appreciation!

5. Policy

For many years, I have stressed over team attendance challenges. On any particular day, team members would arrive late to work, call in the day of, or leave early because of an “emergency.” Their late arrivals or absences had a negative effect on the continuous flow of the day. Recently, I instituted an “Occurrence Attendance Policy” which addresses these issues. The employee receives one-half, one or two points based on established criteria for unacceptable activities listed. This policy has reduced the attendance problem significantly, and it is working because it is a blind policy. The manager has to follow the directions of the policy for each team member regardless of status or position.

6. Empathy

My clients continually express frustration that their teams are not as committed as they would like. Set aside the conventional management dogma about empowerment, accountability, and the “self-directed team.” I simultaneously encourage my clients to view this behavior as part of human nature, not a “bad team.” Forgive your team for being human and expect that your life will never be as important to them as it is to you. Then make them as important to you as you are to you, and optimize reciprocation – if not for the sake of being effective, then to balance out your own emotional state.

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