Your work culture will affect all aspects of your dental practice such as: patient perception, employee engagement, and even your attitude as a practice owner. Dental work culture may vary from practice to practice. However, it is important for all team members to understand the core values of your practice so that they can deliver quality patient care. In dentistry, it is not just about your clinical performance or your production goals. The culture of your practice can have a direct impact on patient satisfaction and employee retention.
Define Your Work Culture
Your dental practice brand will be driven by the culture of your office. What exactly is your culture? Your culture is defined by your leadership role, your work expectations, the organization of your office systems, and the way your team members communicate with each other and patients. The attitude of your employees and the values of your practice will drive patient engagement and production. There is no “one fit all” type of culture to dental practices. Instead, think of it as group of like-minded people who bring diversity, respect, and a positive attitude to your office.
Develop a Plan
Whether you are a new or an existing practice, you can always tailor the culture of your office to fit your mission and values. While all practices have a different culture, all can benefit from collaborative team meetings to understand the systems of the office. It is imperative to discuss what systems need improvement and what systems are working well. By creating an open dialogue, you will naturally foster a collaborative dental team and exceptional patient experiences. Informing your team of your goals, ideas and mission will help guide them to carry out the vision of the practice. Make sure to identify strengths of your team to create a positive work environment.
Your team is the center of your practice and work culture. Simple ways your team can help build the culture of your practice are to build relationships with each other and patients. Developing a genuine concern for patients is important, because often it is your team that will spend more time with them than the doctor. Your team’s effort will show when patients leave positive reviews and refer family and friends to your practice.
"Whenever I hire a new team member I always tell them that we are in the business of building healthy relationships. It's so important to value each patient that you see. It's also important to show value to your team members as well because that translates to better customer service."
- Dr. Niam, DDS
Be Aware of Your Leadership Style
It is your leadership that will drive the practice’s direction. Are you a quiet leader with strong organizational skills or are you hands on leader who enjoys taking on a strong and active role in your practice? Being aware of your leadership style allows you to create a work environment that harnesses your strength. It also helps you be aware of your weaknesses and to continually build upon them. It takes a lot of effort in and out of the office to help build your work culture, but the best things you can do as a dental owner are to respect your team, develop clear communication strategies, institute work traditions, and celebrate your team.
Work culture can change over time depending on the growth of your practice and your dental team organization. While we are always evaluating our office productivity, it is a great idea to evaluate the culture of your practice to determine if it needs any fine tuning to keep you, your team, and patients satisfied.
By Dr. Anand, DDS | email@example.com