Here’s a Dental Office leadership technique that will enforce your role as a Leader, engage your team, and motivate your employees. I use in the offices I coach and it always produces predictable outcomes. Tested and proven.
A structured Quarterly Assessment meeting with each team member is presented here in detail.
1. Announce by Intra-office memo from Doctor or Office Manager to “All Team Members” that you will be doing quarterly Assessments.
2. Meet with one employee at a time, 30 minutes, give two weeks advance notice.
3. Give the team member a “Self Appraisal” form, (I will be happy to send it to you upon request to cskdoc@aol.com) , and tell them to take their time to fill it out honestly. “The purpose is to see where (you) can help them grow as a Team member.”
4. Give them a definite date that you want it returned to you- one week before the Assessment Meeting.
5. Conduct the meeting in a place where there will be NO interruptions- preferably out of the office, if possible.
6. Review every category in detail with the team member. Ask them why they gave themselves the grade. Get them to tell you and then give them your assessment of them in each category.
7. Explain that you will be doing this every 3 months so you can measure each person’s growth.
8. Have the employee sign THEIR self assessment and file it, with a copy of yours, in you employee files. Give them a copy of yours to take home.
1. This process establishes your role as Leader.
2. From the moment you hand the “Self Assessment” form to an employee, you will see great strides taken by that employee to prove to you they are worthy…… and you will know if that person is part of the future of the Dental Practice team. If there are no immediate improvements, you will realize that person just doesn’t care, and you’ll know what to do.
3, Be sure to explain at the beginning of the meeting that the assessment IS NOT related to a pay increase, BUT if the employee shows remarkable improvement from one assessment to the next, a pay raise will be considered. Pay raises are a result of increased value, not of time at the job.
4. This process also will show you where each person may need more guidance from you.
Your people can be measured in degrees of needing “Direction” and “Support“. There are many systems of evaluation; this is a simple system to start with. 
There are some employees who just need clear and precise “direction” You tell them something once- what you want, when you want it, and how you want it done. They may need minimal “support”. Others may need to have a lot of “support”- that is, helping them thru the early stages, correcting them, etc. They may all be valuable in your Dental Practice. You’ll just have to adapt the job functions (tasks) to the individual.
Whether you are the Doctor or the Office Manager, you are the COO (Chief Operating Officer) of this company. Leadership is your responsibility. 
Great Leadership, performance, and teamwork  led the 1947 NY Yankees to succession of World Series’ victories.


  1. Way to go Charles. I insist that my clients adopt some sort of assessment and stick to it. This also greatly helps when it comes time for evaluation for merit increases as you can clearly use the information indirectly with each employee with their attitude toward growth of their professional and personal skills that add value to the practice.

    • Hi Lee~
      Isn’t it disturbing how some dentists “shoot themselves in the foot” by being satisfied to be simply the “robot” in the back of the office? They don’t want to be leaders. Many have no idea what’s going on around them- losing patients, embezzlement, etc. It’s just like being a parent- the dental team needs and wants support and guidance. Accountability!

  2. I agree, an assessment is crucial. We also include stretch goals with specific measurables. The more that the subjective can be replaced by the objective the better.

    • Hi Rebecca~ I love “stretch goals”. I use them all day for myself. It’s almost funny how people with little to do can complain about being “busy”, And sad how some people can be satisfied with mediocre results.

  3. I agree that assessments/reviews are essential. Team members need to know where they stand and if expectations are being met. Not sure why some DDS and OM delay or omit this important feedback tool?

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