Site icon Your Dental Manager

Nobody Told Me About That!

News concept: pixelated words Latest News on digital background, 3d render

Effective Communication is Vital

Dental practices can be notoriously difficult places for keeping people up to date with what is happening and more importantly what needs to be done. Clinicians and dental nurses spend long hours in surgeries, receptionists are busy on the phone and with patients, many of the team work different shifts, part-time hours and some find themselves at home on furlough leave.

Like many other aspects of running a dental practice, there needs to be a strategy for communicating with the team to ensure individuals don’t become isolated, miss vital training or just don’t get to hear about important and sometimes even trivial (but still interesting) news and updates. A popular buzz-word is for your team to be “engaged” – a team engaged with the business and colleagues will deliver results. Effective communication is key to engagement.

How many times have you heard someone say – “Well I didn’t know about that” or “Nobody told me about that”? Effective communication with the team can make the difference between success and failure. The difference between a confident, happy team and a stressed, demotivated team which doesn’t really understand what it is trying to achieve.

Get the communication wrong and the best laid plans will fail to deliver and you can be left scratching your head wondering what went wrong.

Some thoughts and suggestions which may help:

Communication is two-way:

  • Have an open door policy, listen to the team and react positively
  • Discuss your plans openly and explain why things are happening or need to change
  • Listen to what is happening around you and what people are saying
  • Encourage feedback and comment on your plans
  • Try to avoid too much e-mail delivery – face to face is far more effective

Part-time workers often miss out on communications:

Business Performance Updates are Essential:

  • Team members need to understand the contribution they are making
  • Use a few simple charts and graphs to show how the team/business is doing against plan
  • Let the team understand what makes a “good day” for them as individuals and for the business
  • Praise success and seek support and ideas for shortfalls

Individual Performance Updates are Even More Essential:

Put time aside in the diary for:

  • Monthly/weekly team meetings with meaningful agendas, variety of subjects, plenty of opportunities for discussion/interaction and specific actions to take away
  • Regular short 30 minute group/team training sessions which keep people up-to-date without information over-load
  • 10 minute morning “Huddles” are really useful and help set priorities for the day

Use your office notice-board well:

An Intranet can be a great way to communicate with your team:

Communication is an art which can be helped along but not replaced by science – understand and interact with your team, use variety in the way you get messages across, adapt your style to meet the different needs of your team but most importantly deliver the same message to all and don’t assume people know what is going on in your head.

Engage well with your team and wait for the results.

Exit mobile version