To be a leader, some fundamental actions must be taken to establish trust. You need good people to work in harmony with you throughout the day.
You have high expectations for your team's performance. You are measuring their worth as employees. But do you know what your team expects from you?
What your team expects from a good leader
1. Patience and understanding
James V. Anderson
Can your team come to you with a personal issue? If not, whom can they talk to? If you aren't available to hear and solve staffing issues that arise, then you should appoint someone to represent you.
Your staff can sense whether you care about them or not. They help you achieve your practice's goals, including delivering the best possible service to your patients.
Have regular meetings with your team, and discuss your goals and values. Ask your team what you can do to make their jobs more fulfilling.
Treating each team member like they are a list of job duties will not help your practice grow. Your duty as a leader is to help them be successful in their jobs. Everyone appreciates attention and care. Most people want to return attention and care when it is given freely.
2. A mission and vision
Where is your practice headed when it comes to goals? Writing a mission statement and publishing it on your website or social media page will show the community how you feel about your work.
Include the mission statement in the practice's policy manual so that all of your staff can read it. If your team knows where you are going with the practice, what you want to achieve, and your vision for the practice, they will help you reach it. Check with the team about their goals and align those goals with the practice for collective unity.
3. Positive workplace
Good employees look to the leader to set the pace of how work is delivered. If you exude positiveness when giving direction, the staff will feel confident, and it will inspire good work.
The morning huddle begins each day with good news, compliments from patients, and even good news happening worldwide. Create excitement about the progress toward your goals. Do not rehash the mistakes of yesterday.
4. Clear policies
Have you shared your values with your team? Do they know what you stand for? Do you have written policies based on your values and principles? And do you follow them?
Creating policies puts everyone on the same page. By having systems and protocols in writing, where all can read and follow them, you can avoid making snap decisions whenever something comes up that you aren't sure how should be handled.
Policies cover vacations, lateness, sickness, holidays, and working hours. They also address what an employee should do when they notice something is wrong and how they can report it. Your practice's policy manual should address job accountability and expectations, and much more.
Leaders should be clear, concise, and firm in the directions given to their team. When assigning a task, give the team member a timeline and the reasons behind the job.
Sound direction is the ultimate weapon of a good leader! Stay on target with achievable goals. Celebrate each plan, and then have another to start on. Show confidence in the team.
5. Inspiration and recognition
Always acknowledge outstanding performance, the accomplishment of goals by your team, and the extra efforts of individuals. Give awards and bonuses for achieving certain milestones in completing steps toward the goals.
Team recognition at team meetings or morning huddles demonstrate that you take the time to see and honor your hard-working people. Trust is powered by who you are, what you stand for, and how you lead.
Dr. James Anderson is a practicing dentist in Syracuse, UT, and is the CEO and founder of eAssist Dental Solutions. He can be reached via email.
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