By Mike Monfredi, DrBicuspid.com contributing writer
October 3, 2019 -- A great team will work together, overcome obstacles, and achieve great results. The members' mutual respect and willingness to help one another are pervasive, and their results speak for themselves. You won't find the members gossiping in the backroom or wasting time tearing each other down.
The best thing about these amazing teams is they're not always born this way. The fantastic results they produce and the positive mark they leave on the community around them can all be developed. However, it takes a leader to get them there.
At Monfredi Family Dentistry, we've used the following seven tactics to boost production, generate 350 five-star reviews in two years, and triple our new patient acquisitions.
1. Actually lead
As referenced in Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, leadership is the most critical factor. Willink and Babin let us know that employees will only take directives and willingly submit to orders for a short time.
But when the luster of hearing the word from the boss wears off, people need to be led. They need to know what the most important goals for the practice are, understand them, and work toward them. And most important, they need to know how those goals affect their bank accounts and the day-to-day lives they lead outside of work.
So learn continually, develop and hone your skills, and then lead your people toward victory. Don't expect things to just happen or for someone else to make sure it happens. Make leadership of your team your priority.
2. Challenge your people
Great bonds are formed through overcoming adversity.
We've chosen to use tactics like setting monthly goals, holding team workouts, and competing against a cross-town rival in some way all for a charitable cause. All of these challenges have worked to bring our group closer together, win or lose.
3. Give your team victories
"Winning cures all."
It's one thing to go through those "painful" situations, come closer together, and then lose in the end. Sure, there's joy in the process, but eventually, the losses will mount and morale will fall.
However, if you're able to change only the outcome -- from a loss to a victory -- now the team has both process and result to rally behind. That's uplifting.
Here are a couple of wins to try in your office:
- Try setting two production goals with an escalating bonus structure. The lower goal is easily achieved and the upper is more of a stretch; then give rewards accordingly.
- Choose a metric that matters to you and reward your team for making progress (maybe you offer a free lunch for every 10 reviews earned).
4. Care about your people
Just like you want your people to care for the work they do in your business, your team needs to see that you care about them as individuals.
“People don't follow robots; they follow leaders whom they respect.”
Ask about their families and friends, how they enjoyed the weekend, and then actually listen to their responses.
People don't follow robots; they follow leaders whom they respect.
Taking it a step further, show your people that you care about their quality of life at work. Do that by utilizing some of these team-building activities and investing your time and resources to improve the workplace environment and the team's morale.
Your efforts will be rewarded with increased buy-in and desire to perform for the leader your team respects -- you.
5. Develop their individual skills
Send your people to training, bring them with you to conferences, and find ways to help them grow professionally.
We always take our staff to an annual conference and find training events they'd like to attend. They love the fact that we continue to take an interest in helping them develop both professionally and personally.
When we're interviewing potential new hires for our office, there is a common theme among many of them.
"My current employer doesn't seem to care about helping us grow. I love the fact that your office does this."
It may be a small sample size, but people tend to perk up when they find out you care about helping folks achieve their goals.
6. Time together outside of the office
We have a desk calendar hanging on our break room wall, and it is filled with many events listed below. I absolutely love this calendar because we've always got something fun and nontraditional coming up to look forward to. These events include potlucks, a book club, team workouts, and more.
Our people are under no obligation to participate in any or all of these events, but we've found that by having multiple opportunities to get together for nontraditional reasons helps us build toward the best version of ourselves as a group.
7. Learn from shared experiences
After a particularly good or poor day, we will occasionally meet for three minutes on what went well or wrong during the day. Taking it a step further, we then talk about what we can change or build on moving forward.
The point of these after-action reviews is that these events are still fresh in your mind. You gather for three minutes, and as everyone has just lived through these events, they're top of their mind and easy to dissect.
We've had some of the most productive conversations and changes come from these quick meetings. Afterward, I'll make a note of the change or main principle to build upon and reinforce it at our huddle the next morning.
We started our business for many reasons -- chief among them was to have complete control over the culture and environment of our office. Not only is a great team good for your bottom line, but it is also phenomenal for your mental state and personal well-being.
By employing these seven team-building activities with your group, you'll be well on your way to building a cohesive and productive team -- who may even enjoy coming to work on Monday.
Mike Monfredi is the practice manager at Monfredi Family Dental. He also writes about entrepreneurship, finance, and fitness at MikedUp Blog.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.
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