Building and Maintaining a Strong Team

Five tips to help your staff better interact as a team.

As I was watching a sporting even recently, I started thinking about the importance of teamwork. Teamwork is important not only in sports but also in other areas of our lives including the workplace. Sometimes, it can be difficult to get the staff at your dental office to behave as a team, but when they do, it can create a more pleasant working environment, which can result in better care for your patients. Here are five tips to help your staff better interact as a team.

  1. Each position in your office should have a job description. When a new employee is hired, take the time to go over the description of the job, and what is expected of them. This can help to prevent ambiguity and make it clear what their responsibilities are. In my experience, employees preform better and are happier with structure.
  2. Assign mundane tasks and chores like cleaning the break room or sterilizing instruments to the entire team. If one person feels like they are always doing the chores while their co-worker goes home early, it can create resentment and negativity among the staff.
  3. Communicate constantly. I think morning meetings and monthly business meetings are a great way to communicate and make sure the whole team is on the same page. In the morning meetings, cover the upcoming day’s patients and topics the team needs to be aware of. The monthly business meeting is a good time to cover production and collection goals and to review office procedures and policies.
  4. Have fun with your team! I’ve found that doing team-building activities can help to promote a positive team mentality. It can be nice to get out of the office and get to know each other on a personal level. Some ideas for team building activities are an escape room, a fun run/walk, a sports event, or a simple lunch. These activities don’t need to be frequent or expensive but can be a nice way to create a team mindset.
  5. Approach any misunderstandings as soon as possible. Sometimes, your staff may have misunderstandings or disagreements. I find it’s best to resolve these types of issues right away to stop any negativity that may affect the rest of the team. Meet with both parties, listen to both sides of the story, and come to a fair resolution. This way your team won’t become divided.

Having your staff work as a team can help to create a more pleasant work environment for everyone. When each player plays their position efficiently, your practice will run smoother and be more productive. By working as a team, you can also provide better patient care.

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By Charlotte Skaggs
Certified Dentrix Trainer and The Dentrix Office Manager columnist

Charlotte Skaggs is the founder of Vector Dental Consulting LLC, a practice management firm focused on taking offices to the next level. Charlotte co-owned and managed a successful dental practice with her husband for 17 years. She has a unique approach to consulting based on the perspective of a practice owner. Charlotte has been using Dentrix for over 20 years and is a certified Dentrix trainer. Contact Charlotte at