What are the secrets to finding and building a productive team of long-term employees?
And I know that right now it’s a bit more difficult to find and keep employees than in times past, which makes it even more important to stay on top of your hiring “game,” and to put an extra focus on teambuilding. And it’s with that in mind, we wanted to share a few tips.
I should also mention that the MGE Power Program helps you organize your office, build a productive team, and become a great leader for your practice. So if you’re looking to improve in this regard, I highly suggest looking into it.
Alright, with that said, let’s get into the tips!
TIP 1: Never, never, never, never, stop looking for new employees
Did I say never enough? Even if you’re fully staffed, you should always be on the lookout for talent. If one of your current team members doesn’t end up working out for whatever reason, this leaves you with options rather than starting the entire hiring process again from scratch.
Keep in mind, hiring is a job. It’s not just something you do when you need to.
Likewise, if you’re looking to expand your practice, you’ll be adding people regularly.
But don’t just rely on online ads and sites like Indeed for your new hires.
When you’re out and about, look around. At a restaurant and the host/hostess looks like they’re doing an amazing job? Offer your business card and say something like, “You do an amazing job at what you do. If you’re ever in the need of a job or a career change, call my office number.”
A good business owner is always making note of people they meet that would be a good addition to their team, even at times when the practice isn’t actively trying to fill a position.
It’s amazing how many people you’ll find just out and about that have a great work ethic and willingness to succeed at their job. Take this opportunity to float the idea out there and form a relationship.
TIP 2: Start new hires out the right way
How they are handled the first few weeks is critical for a new employee. For most businesses, employee turnover tends to happen within the first few weeks—and even for the ones who do stay, the tone is set and company culture instilled early on.
I’ve seen many times where the expectations were not clearly communicated—and the new hire isn’t thoroughly trained on the specific job functions. Then later on the doctor wonders why their employees don’t do everything he/she expects them to do. People are creatures of habit, it can be more difficult to try to put that toothpaste back in the tube after the fact.
TIP 3: Immediately orient new employees to the practice.
Being new to an office and a position can be disorienting and nerve-wracking. New place, new people, new expectations, new ways of doing things. And as a team, you should all want to make sure the new hire feels comfortable.
The faster they can get familiar with the office and their role in it, the better.
Here at MGE, we have a checklist for new employees to get through on their first couple of days. It includes general office policies, the mission statement, and an actual map of the office with all the rooms on it. Someone will tour them around the office so they can meet the team, see where everything is, and learn how the business works.
I suggest you do the same in your office.
We want your new employees to be familiar with the space and people they’ll be working with, as well as the basic expectations of them as an employee, why the business exists, and how each team member helps to accomplish that mission.
Tip 4: Don’t shortchange their training
You put a lot of time and effort into the ads, interviewing, and hiring process. Now that they’re hired, that same intense effort should be applied to your new employee’s onboarding and training.
I know it can seem difficult – after all, you hired this person because you already had more on your plate than you could handle! But…hear me out on this.
Putting the time into a new hire (teaching them how your office does things, doing an “apprenticeship” with another team member, etc.) goes a long way towards determining if they are a good fit for your practice. Making sure they’re trained properly raises the potential that they may stick around, which means you’ll ultimately get more back in the long run.
If they’re not a good fit, it’s a good thing you found out now and not in six months! Again, you’re actually saving yourself time, which can be spent looking for another applicant.
By the way, to make this easier for you, we created DDS Success—our online team training platform. We provide on-demand video training for your whole team, including specific job training, front office systems, teambuilding exercises, and much more. You can schedule a free demo here.
Tip 5: Get them productive quickly
By this I mean get them properly trained and working as efficiently as possible.
As I mentioned earlier, the tone is set for the working relationship early on. If you don’t give them much to do early on as they learn the ropes, they’ll start to get used to that workload—meaning they’ll think they don’t need to work very hard because that’s just “how it goes” in this office.
So, make sure that you (or the office manager) are prompt about giving them new duties as they get trained.
And when they do things successfully, acknowledge them for doing a great job! This may seem obvious, but most of the time we’re busy ourselves and tend to underestimate how an acknowledgment can make an employee feel important.
Likewise, if they seem to be having trouble, check up on them and find out what you can do to help. Maybe they have a misunderstanding, or maybe they can’t quite grasp something, or maybe it’s something else entirely. No matter what the problem is, take the time to help them get back on track.
Your staff are important – after all, without them, you’d have a hard time running all of it by yourself – so, it’s vital to check up on them, acknowledge their good work, and keep them winning on their job.
I hope this helps! Like I mentioned above, DDS Success and the free Dental Dream Team Seminar are both great tools to help you find and train an incredible team!
And if you have any questions on this topic, feel free to email me at JohnA@mgeonline.com.
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