Building that Illusive Winning Team

How to increase employee engagement.

Updated 6/30/20

Nothing contributes to a practice’s consistent, long-term success like a truly effective and cohesive team. With the basic skills of recruitment, selection, retention, effective communication, and performance management in place, building a winning team is indeed feasible.

Conservative estimates are that it costs between $10,000 and $20,000 each time employee turnover occurs. Imagine turning that cost into profit for your practice!

One of the most common hiring mistakes dentists make is focusing on an applicant’s skills and experience. If someone’s skills are not what you need, this can usually be taught or trained. Experience does not always equate to proficiency. Attitude and compatibility within the practice cannot be taught or trained—it is either there or it’s not.

As a leader, your goal is to ensure that each team member would answer “yes” to each of the following statements. Identified by the Gallup group, these statements get to the heart of employee engagement.

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  4. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  5. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  6. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  7. I have a best friend at work.
  8. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.

Building a winning team is knowing how to find and identify people with the right attitude, because your systems are only as good as the people running them.

Learn More

Read How Attitudes Impact the Success of  Practice to get insights into communicating with staff members.

Visit to learn about the training options available to you and your team.

By Tim Twigg, President Bent Ericksen & Associates

Tim Twigg is the President of Bent Ericksen & Associates. Bent Ericksen & Associates has been the leading authority in human resources and personnel management in the healthcare industry, helping dentists successfully deal with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. Tim brings over 30 years of practice management and business consulting experience and knowledge specifically in the healthcare field. Tim’s expertise extends to leadership and business development, strategic planning and marketing, and communication skills. He has presented seminars nationally on practice management, human resources, and employment compliance. Tim is a published author and currently co-authors a regular column in Dental Economics entitled “Staff Issues.” He is part of the management faculty and/or speakers’ bureau for: Career Fusion, Seattle Study Club, Hygiene Fusion, Jameson Management, LVI Global, Transitions Group and Fortune Management. Tim is the past president of and a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants and a member of the Speaking Consulting Network. He is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and VetPartners, the professional consulting association for the veterinary industry.

Published as part of a collection of key takeaways from the 2015 Business of Dentistry Conference, along with:

Originally published in Dentrix Magazine, Winter 2015