A business vision is vital but if you haven’t shared it with those helping to achieve it, then now is the time to open their eyes, says Shaz Memon

Practice branding goes way beyond the colour scheme, graphics and fonts.

Your dental practice will be judged on the experiences of patients, the overall atmosphere of your practice and how your team presents to the outside world.

The soft skills and clinical excellence of the dental team are integral to your business brand and it is therefore important to share your business vision with them. Dentistry teams require a multitude of skills, with excellent communication at their heart. While communication might remain at the forefront of your clinical practice, sometimes it can get a little neglected when it comes to valuable ‘team’ time.

Keep talking about your brand

However, as a uniquely solitary industry, there are many reasons to set aside time to meet as a team – not least of which is the ongoing staff support of your business identity.

Each and every team member should know what your business stands for and how they can best support you.

Time, sadly, is something I know few dentists have in abundance but, as a practice principal, you risk damage to your brand (and reputation).

In 2010, when the personal care company Burt’s Bees was undergoing huge upheaval with global expansion, the then-CEO, John Replogle, would send out an email daily praising a team member for work related to the rollout, and made a point of reminding leaders to talk with their teams about the company’s values.

Team members need to understand how their behaviour  reflects the brand, what they can do to promote it and the implications for when they don’t. This may require having conversations regularly – with the added benefit of exploring new potential dental marketing ideas.

Make your team stronger

These branding meetings can add value in other ways, such as encouraging team spirit. Involving the practice team can serve as an exercise in demonstrating how much you value their input. It gives them a chance to contribute ideas and feedback on the direction that the practice is taking.

Additionally, meetings can break down barriers and encourage those who rarely have a voice to find one, as well as share ideas across the board. You may even find a social media champion who knows exactly how to raise your practice’s online profile more effectively!

Encourage your staff

Teams need the motivation to buy in to the practice’s goals and priorities, so offer incentives to those who actively get involved in embracing new ideas. Jointly set inspirational and relevant branding goals, create a focus and reward those with a can-do attitude.

You could also set aside time each month for a one-to-one with each member of staff. Stagger these meetings so as not to affect practice workflow and remember to invite feedback. It is often suggested that staff with positive attitudes towards their employer share that positivity with customers. In this way, they can support your ultimate aim to achieve a successful brand identity to which customers return time and time again.

So, build into your business plan ongoing dental marketing dialogue with your team and identify your marketing champions. You can create an environment that benefits profits, patients and your team ethos. Your dental website design should be an integral part of involving the practice.