Whether your dental assistants or reception team are leaving a first impression, or you are treating a long-time patient, patient acquisition and retention comes down to the quality of care provided. Providing quality care to patients involves multiple factors, one of which is having a positive team. Your patients are more likely to be comfortable with someone who has a happy presence in the operatory.
Dental professionals are trained to work under a variety of conditions, and many are used to performing a wide range of tasks. Keeping up morale is essential in maintaining a strong and positive team. Working in a setting that is perpetually stressful is draining on any individual, no matter how motivated they are. COVID-19 and all the risks and precautions associated with the virus have certainly presented a new stressor for your team. How do you improve morale when hard times hit?
1. Genuine Positive Feedback
While your office may have employee incentive programs for team members, such as insurance benefits, work parties, and other perks, providing personal praise to your team members is a simple and valuable motivation technique. Not only does this positively reinforce good work in your team, but personal praise also increases work satisfaction for the member on the receiving end. Additionally, and leading into our next point, providing feedback this way nurtures a transparent environment, encouraging your team to share their own voices.
2. Be open to feedback on your end
Provide your team members with a safe space to share their concerns and suggestions. It’s been shown that bottling up issues can quickly cause burnout, which results in high turnover rates, and ultimately is detrimental to teamwork. Creating an open space where team members can work on conflict management, problem solving, and make their concerns known to you. To go a step further, if you can address your team members’ concerns, the individual will be satisfied with the outcome, and your team will most likely be encouraged. If your practice is not having regular team meetings already, implementing weekly or daily team meetings are a good place to start. Allowing your team members to check in and feel confident for the day or week ahead if it works with your practice’s culture.
3. Reduce stress by optimizing your available resources
Using your practice management software to its full potential can help your team members save time and reduce stress levels by automating manual tasks. ABELDent, for example, provides communication options for your reception team, such as ABELDent Patient Portal. In the operatory, your dental assistants can quickly check for patient medical conditions or allergies via the clinical sidebar without having to navigate away from their chart. No matter what practice management software you are using, ensuring it is set up to make the most out of all the available features is your best bet for reducing stress, and improving workplace morale.
Our brains tend to get stuck in a repetitive cycle when we lean into our negative thoughts. Additionally, negative attitudes that take over workspaces have been cited time and time again as being detrimental to any workplace’s overall goal and financial wellbeing. We have touched on the power of positivity in the past, and the ways in which your practice becomes more successful from a happier team. A healthy and happy environment is highly influential in fostering a productive practice that benefits not only your team, but also your patients.