Some of the most frequently heard complaints from dentists are concerning their staff:
“Why can’t I find a smart receptionist?”
“She’s only been here three months and she’s asking for a raise.”
“Aren’t there any dedicated people out there?”
John McKay was a very successful college footballl head coach with UCLA. He was hired to be head coach of the 1976 NFL expansion team Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After starting their first 26 games without a win, head coach John McKay was asked what he thought of his team’s “execution.” He replied, “I’m all for it.“
You don’t just “get” a great employee, you build one.
Here’s an OUTLINE OF A PROCESS that assures a more successful and longer lasting relationship with employees. It will foster a mutually rewarding future for the doctor and the whole team.
By the way, McKay’s team improved by the end of the 1970s, making the playoffs three times including an appearance in the NFC Championship Game in 1979.
The solution starts at the beginning and lies in your Process of Recruiting, Inducting, and Managing.
1. Trust your Personnel Recruiter.
2. Clearly define what you are looking for- job description, personality traits, availability, etc.
3. When possible, call the “promising applicants” to make preliminary phone judgements. 
4. Set up “working interviews” of undetermined length.This will help you determine the prospect’s value and thus, her/his starting pay. 
5. Carefully review the job description and your expectations with the new employee. 
6. Hire on a probationary three month basis with all recommended written safeguards. (Employment Practice Liability, etc.) 
7. Get on-going feedback from trusted team members about new employee. 
8. Conduct scheduled, periodic, one-on-one, quarterly employee evaluation meeting.
9. Encourage the new employee to participate in morning huddles and team meetings..
10. Keep education and improvement as a priority.
11. What would YOU add to this list?
Remember…..  “trainability” and having an open mind (growth potential) is crucial, because YOUR practice and YOUR expectations are much different from those of her/his prior employers.
…… the “chemistry” between you, your other teammates, and the prospect is necessary. You will be spending more time with the new employee than with your spouse.
……. you are the President and CEO of this team. Be a benevolent but firm, empowering, hands-on Leader. Employee management is part of YOUR job.


  1. Excellent blog! It all starts with communication, which establishes trust, and ensuring that everyone is aligned to the same purpose…This ultimately leads to productivity. The problem is that many leaders try to skip the first three steps. The up side is that most people want to work in a thriving organization where they feel that they add value.

  2. I would be careful with “working interviews”. If a doctor pays even a temporary employee and taxes are taken out, then this employee can claim unemployment. Wouldn’t it be awful to have to pay unemployment for someone who “worked” for you for 2 hours?
    I suggest a “skills assesment” interview instead. Have the candidate come work for a few hours, but don’t pay them.
    Great post! Thank you!

    • Hi Jackie~
      I just saw your comment. Sorry for the long delay.
      Thank you for the correction; it’s very useful.
      I enjoy following your posts. Keep the tank filled.
      Best regards,

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