The most successful dental practices create an environment that consciously and consistently attracts and retains peak performers. How do they do it? The environment must be tough enough to encourage people to consistently do their best, loose enough to give them freedom to excel at their work, and the opportunity to experience profound personal and professional growth. Only then can everyone succeed!
As Patrick Lencioni says in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it so powerful and rare.” Because each individual is inherently different, it can be challenging to get everybody rowing in the same direction, ultimately building a great team. It is possible however. Lencioni goes on to say, “Teamwork comes down to mastering a set of behaviors that are at once theoretically uncomplicated, but extremely difficult to put into practice day after day.”
The teams that consistently achieve the best results are able to do so because they have a great leader and because they have highly effective systems in place. From interviewing to orientation and training to performance development and retention, it’s important to have solid employment processes in place for your practice.
If you’re not as happy as you would like to be with the behaviour of people on your team, take a closer look at the systems they’re working in. Having the right systems in place empowers and engages people to be their personal best, allowing you to attract and retain star performers.
In the coming newsletters, we will be addressing practical tools and proven systems to help you build your peak performance team.
Building the Perfect Team
Finding individuals whose strengths enhance your practice is a top priority. Create an environment that will attract the right people to your practice. When you have the right people, reward them well for the value they bring and you will become ‘an employer of choice’—a magnet that attracts the best of the best!
When building your team, steer clear of the desire to hire people that are “just like me” – individuals that are carbon copies of yourself. The tendency to feel more comfortable around and give preference to people that are similar to ourselves is understandable, but in today’s competitive environment, there is more power in having a team that is comprised of intellectual diversity, different strengths and experiences.
Characteristics of great team members include but are not limited to people that are:
The list could go on for pages. For each practice, the needs will vary, depending on the team members you already have. Ideally, as you hire new people, consider the qualities that will best complement your existing team. An outstanding team will recognize and rejoice in the diverse roles and distinctive contributions that each individual brings to the team.
It’s important to enjoy your work. Surface issues may arise, but at the end of the day, there should be a deep down sense of satisfaction with your work; this will keep potential issues non-issues. Occasionally I’ve seen teams where the leader plays team members against each other, creating a competitive environment. This sort of atmosphere creates resentment and fear, which is not a good recipe for creating success. People feel best when they are given the freedom to solve issues and are trusted to do the jobs they were hired to do.
Understanding and Working with Differences
As a leader, it’s up to you to appreciate your team member’s individual differences and work to draw everyone together into a unified and collaborative team. Strive to ensure that diverse perspectives and approaches improve the results in your practice rather than create conflict. Also, understand that based on individual preferences and working styles, different strategies will need to be used to engage each person so they will perform at their maximum potential.
Somewhat ironically, it is through discipline, clarity, repeatable processes and defined structure that you can most easily and quickly achieve freedom. As you create a healthy and dynamic practice culture it will provide you with the flexibility, prosperity, and enjoyment you deserve!
There are many benefits to developing a strong and loyal team, the wins you enjoy will be as unique as you and your practice are.
Points to Ponder:
Strategix ltd. Dental Consulting
– CoraMarie Clark posted July 18, 2015