How to Establish Accountability in your Dental Practice

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Dental office receptionist new patientsLast week I shared a poem about accountability, “Everybody, Somebody, Nobody & Anybody” with you. This week I would like to share how we can we apply the lessons Heather shared with her team in our practices and businesses.

  1. Hire Right and identify, in simple terms, what you expect from each of your team members. Articulate this in your Office Manual – get professional help here.
  2. Identify your measurables so you take the “emotions” out of human resource management. Be VERY specific. When you assign a task (or ask a team member to handle a project), spell it out in detail: What you want, when you want it, why you need it, and what the outcome might look like. Scorekeeping is a powerful way to have employees show one another and their doctor whether they are achieving objectives.
  3. Accountability requires follow-up and consequences. Consequences need to be clear, deliberate and offered as close to the behavior as possible. The performance tracking must be simple enough and visual enough that everyone can tell at a glance whether they are winning or losing.
  4. NOTE: It’s the consequences that routinely get us into trouble. God forbid we upset a team member or they should be angry or disagree with us. Consequences need to be appropriate, as close to immediate as possible, and specific. Most think consequences are negative. Oh contraire readers…Consequences, for exemplary behaviors, are positive, encouraging and supportive or they can be the antithesis where remediation is required (this is the tough part for most of us). I strongly coach my clients when they catch fabulous behaviors, behaviors that support the practice’s Core Values, to heap positive consequences on their team members. When the behaviors do not support the practice values, we MUST take action to remind everyone we mean business and must support our values.

Heather set the stage to remind us that we are ALL accountable and anything less than that is a “disguise” for not being responsible.

If you would like further discussion around consequences and how to apply to your business, please join in our conversation in my New LinkedIn Group just for Dentists and Dental Practitioners.

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