If your team is underperforming, perhaps it is not them that is at fault, Alun Rees argues.

Successful practices keep happy teams, whilst unhappy teams have problems reaching success.

This is true of dentistry and beyond.

Take a look at the governments in the UK and USA, where both Theresa May and Donald Trump make headlines routinely for sackings and resignations.

Staff turnover is a fact of life, whatever the reason.

Sometimes it can be a force for good; new blood should make us all up our game as we concentrate on what we want from our teams and learn from the leaver’s reasons.

Constant churn on the other hand, does nobody any good.

It undermines morale, causes hesitation in business momentum and takes the focus away from purpose.

It can be costly in time and money and often reflects an underlying problem of leadership and team morale.

Management styles

In my experience the polarised management styles of ‘my way or the highway’ or the ‘laissez-faire’ are equally unsuccessful.

The former leads to cowed individuals rarely giving of their best.

The latter is often worse with an ineffectual, underperforming and undisciplined workforce.

Problems often start with the recruitment process.

A vague, generic job description that would fit any practice means that you attract somebody else’s idea of a dental nurse, associate, practice manager or receptionist.

Kick off your search knowing what makes you special; what differentiates your dental business and your team.

That takes a professional, defined recruitment, interviewing, induction and appraisal system that is unique to you.

It chooses the right person, moulds them, checks their progress and encourages their growth.

This is more than a tick box exercise, it takes dedication, hard work and more than just presumption.

If your team is not performing, perhaps it’s not them, but you that is at fault.

Take a look at yourself.


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