For over a decade I have been honored to provide dental office team training to practices around the globe. After the pandemic, things started to feel different. Clients began resounding over and over again, “my office doesn’t feel the same as it did before everything shut down.” Something was off.
My team and I began studying the effects of the pandemic on office cultures. We learned that an astounding number of dental employees had left the industry, those that stayed were put in different roles, and new team members were either fresh out of school (although they didn’t have any hands-on training due to the shut-down) or were hired for a non-licensed position without any experience. Practices were so short-staffed that team members were trained on their transactional duties but never had time to learn the relational side of the practice. Fast forward a year or so and now “something feels off.” And just like that, the Dental Team Culture Club was born.
The purpose of our dental team culture club is to train team members on the relational side of the practice, the “human” side of dentistry. It’s a 12-month program and by the end of it teams are working together like a well-oiled operation. The culture matches the practice owner’s vision and the team understands how to better communicate with each other and patients. After having over 100 dental teams go through our team culture club program, we are proud to say that the success rate is phenomenal.
Every culture club experience is based upon one simple discovery, “What does the practice owner want the culture to look like?” The first step in the process is a discussion between us to unpack the answer to this loaded question.
The next step is getting to know your team. We use DISC assessments to help identify team members’ unique behavior tendencies. These assessments provide a laser-focused method for quickly achieving deeper insights that might otherwise take months or years to bring to light. Assessments can shed considerable light on the relational misunderstandings amongst team members. DISC provides an accurate description of an individual’s strengths, limitations, and workplace preferences. Once completed, a 52-page report is generated and privately shared with the individual.
After meeting with each team member privately to discuss workplace behavior tendencies and relational gaps, we host a 2-day team workshop specially designed to help your teams align with the owner’s culture goals, communicate better as a team, eliminate toxic conflict, and work together effectively. We follow this initial workshop with a 1-day “culture club” workshop per quarter.
Implementation and Accountability are key factors to the success of this program. The purpose of the culture club workshops is to learn the skills needed for success. However, without implementation the skills are useless.
The last piece (and some would argue it’s the most important piece) to our culture club program is the monthly touchpoint. Throughout each month we will meet with team members one-on-one via video chat, provide access to a library of communication tools, and an unlimited resource to go to when they struggle with conflict or miscommunication with another team member or leader in the practice.
Here are just a few benefits we’ve seen as a result of our dental team culture club program:
- Effective Communication: Team members that communicate well are 92% more successful than those that lack effective communication skills.
- Engaged Team Members: Employees invested in the practice get better results and are often more productive and efficient. Engaged team members are motivated and enjoy the office environment.
- Reduce Turnover: Engaged employees are less likely to search for a new job, reducing recruiting and hiring costs.
- Collaborative Problem Solving: An effective team culture provides connections and outlets for employees to work together to solve problems instead of running to your office as soon as you leave the operatory.
- Increased Productivity: Employees who care about the practice, its culture, and its purpose are often more productive, allowing them to elevate every aspect of the patient experience including: the initial call, clinical hand-offs, treatment planning and case acceptance, and insurance verbiage.
Tracy Civick is a speaker, author, and coach who focuses on strengthening corporate culture, empowering teams to practice effective communication, and creating profitable workplace environments.
With over a decade of team development experience creating unity, compassion, and success, Tracy has a passion for teaching individuals how to elevate themselves both personally and professionally.