Leading Through Times Of Crisis; How to Keep Your Team Engaged

Speaking in certainties has become difficult lately. One of the few things I can say with confidence is I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. While this has always been true, the past months have amplified this reality. Coming face to face with this begs the question, how does a true leader grapple with the unknown while simultaneously stepping up and providing the clarity and safety a team needs to stay aligned and engaged? 

Here at ACT, we have always helped leaders build cultures filled with committed and engaged team members. We know the real advantage this provides. Recently, we have seen some individuals forget about the importance of fostering high employee engagement, and with good reason; the challenges and decisions we all face seem never to end. Yet as I sat back, listening during our weekly team meeting to the questions, ideas, and struggles that our team has been working through, I was reminded of something.  An engaged team brings a commitment to each...

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How To Break The Covid Schedule Cycle

Fall has arrived, and along with it, the scheduling lull that we have been forecasting and acting upon over the past few months. While many offices have worked hard and closed the post-Covid scheduling gap, this challenge is still a top priority for a lot of practices around the country. 

As we are now fully realizing the cyclical effects of the Covid closures, we must be mindful and look forward, recognizing that a lack of stable, consistent action today will lead to this scheduling lull cycling yet again six months down the line. We have watched as our most successful practices have avoided the scheduling gap, and we want to share those tips with you.

Breaking The Cycle

Over the past months, we’ve focused on concrete countermeasures and scheduling policies for reopening. While these strategies are still valid and can help you continue to fill your schedule, now is the time to shift back to some basics. What many teams are realizing is how important it is to have a...

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Motivate Your Patients Out Of Fear And Back Into The Practice

communication Jun 30, 2020

After months of your office being closed, you’re finally back at it. The books are full. The schedule is productive. Heck, you just had a record-breaking month; things are looking good.

Yet looking forward on the schedule there are openings. In fact, there are a lot of openings. You check in with your treatment coordinator and the list of broken appointments that need to be rescheduled has been exhausted. 

One list, however, has grown. That list of “call me after COVID” patients increases daily, and the team doesn’t know how to work through the very real fear and hesitation that has paralyzed so many of us.

What now? How do we reach out to these fearful patients? How do we connect and let them know, “I’ve got you. The many layers of PPE that I wear for each and every one of my patients are not just to keep me safe, they are to keep you safe too.”

How do we keep schedules full, and help our patients overcome their fear?

What dental...

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How Poor Communication Impacts Your Practice

communication Feb 18, 2020
 

Communication is the responsibility of one person and one person only: the sender. If the sender fails to effectively share information with the recipient, then it isn’t the recipient’s fault if plans go awry.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store only to find yourself with a shopping list you can’t understand? Perhaps your partner used shorthand you’ve never seen before, or you can’t read your mom’s handwriting on her recipe. We can celebrate the small victory that you even have a list – writing things down is an important part of the communication system – but it’s hardly useful if it isn’t conveying the information that you need. If you want someone to pick up the exact ingredients you need from the store, you’d better make that shopping list crystal clear. Even if it seems redundant, it’s better to overcommunicate than to have to make another trip to the store.

Effective communication is your...

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The Shopping Zone

 

Come with us, if you will, on a journey across the universe. A journey to a place where dentist-patient relationships don’t matter, and where best practices are out the window. Buckle up, because we’re about to enter… The Shopping Zone.

Consider, for a moment, The Shopper. He needs a crown. He’s not looking for the best crown. He’s looking for the cheapest crown. He’s on a race to the bottom.

Now, meet Betty. She’s worked in the dental office for 25 years, and frankly is counting the days until she can ditch the place. Here’s how she handles The Shopper:

“Dentist’s office.”

“Hey, how much are your crowns?”
“$795. We ship them overseas.”

“Okay, thanks.”

And the patient was never heard from again.

Let’s go to the other side of the universe and meet Nancy. Nancy loves her job, and is curious about patients. Let’s see how she handles The Shopper:

“Thank you for calling...

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What Every Dentist’s Team Is Starving For And How You Can Provide It In Your Practice

communication leadership Jan 21, 2019

Most dentists want a great team of people who are committed and engaged with the work that they do, but few dentists actually achieve this goal. Many dentists are too busy managing their practice and focusing on patient care to actually invest time into cultivating an engaged team, but this seldom works out well in the long run. Even though it’s challenging to find the time to support your team members and increase engagement, it’s worth it when you consider how much more productive your practice will be. You can work towards this goal of increased engagement by focusing on one simple thing: communication rhythms.

Communication rhythms are regularly established sessions where team members are brought together to get on the same page. These meetings are structured, scheduled and consistent so that every member of your team knows exactly what to expect. During meetings, you will discuss patient care and practice care with your team members in a structured forum that is...

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6 Things TO NEVER DO When Collecting Fees From Patients

When you build a successful dental practice, you must have healthy arrangements around cash and the expectations around it. It’s not all about the money—it’s about the predictability that the money provides, and that is what you need more than the money.

Maintaining a healthy relationship with your patients requires you and your team to train them how to behave at your practice. We coach dentists and team members one very important principle,

“WE TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT US.”

And this means that you have to train patients how to behave in your practice.  As dental teams, we train patients how to pay, how to behave, how to show up for appointments, etc.  If patients don’t pay for dentistry, it is not their fault. It is yours. Failure to train patients to pay their full balance—and to pay it on time—is bound to cause long-term problems at your office, and these problems are bigger than money problems.

Cash is to your...

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4 Strategies For Transforming Your Front Office Team

Your front office team represents the face of your practice. Because they’re often the first people your patients will interact with, and the communication medium for appointment scheduling and customer service, properly training your front office team is imperative to your office’s success. Read this article to discover how to increase productivity with your front office team.

 

Improve Your Hiring Techniques

Improving your team’s efficiency starts with the hiring process. When interviewing potential candidates for front office positions, clarify your expectations for short, and long-term development. Outline the specific goals and tasks you’d like to improve, as well as the timeline to illustrate when you hope to achieve them. Before employment, enhancing a prospect’s knowledge-base regarding acceptable insurance plans, training them with company software and phone systems, and bettering their understanding of dental procedures are all ways to...

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How To Create An Attractive Ad For The Best Prospects In Your Practice

communication leadership Jan 05, 2018

A collaborative, efficient team dynamic is critical to the success of a dental practice. However, “how” to build such a team is often an elusive concept. One of the most common questions we hear from clients is, “How do I hire the right people?”

 

In a previous post, we shared some key takeaways from Kirk Behrendt’s recent discussion with Dr. Ken Allen in episode #1 of our podcast. In that episode, Kirk asked Dr. Allen to share some tips on hiring the best dental team members. Here we’ll delve a little deeper, and review a particular step of the hiring process that is often overlooked – writing a great ad. Read on to learn about the structure of attractive job advertisements, and how their proper assembly can draw top-notch potential to your dental practice.

The Anatomy Of A Great Ad

Creative – Don’t restrict yourself to operating within the box of job ad standards – people naturally gravitate toward original...

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[Infographic] 5 Hiring Essentials To Find Your Best Dental Team

communication leadership Dec 13, 2017

To help your dental practice thrive, you need to start with a good base: a great team. This includes fellow dentists as well as the front office staff. Use these tips to build the best dental team for your practice. 

Hiring a new team member to your dental practice can be a daunting task. It is important to know your job description and stick to those measures when considering potential candidates. Use these 5 tips to achieve the best dental practice team.

 

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