March 6th, 2013 is National Dentist Day.

Give your Dentist a big hug and kiss… or at least, pay your bill!
… and don”t park in his/her spot today.
12-28-11 THANK YOU


 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 , 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.


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.

475,000 reasons to be a LEADER of your Dental Team.

 Are you “too busy” to manage your Dental Practice?

You have so much confidence in Sally. She’s been with you for so many years, all your patients love her, and she knows those insurance benefits soooo well.
“I couldn’t even think what I would do if she left me. I could never go thru the hiring and training process again.”
“She doesn’t like anyone ‘looking over her shoulder’ and I respect her independence. She gets the job done and I sure don’t want to be answering the phone, making appointments, and collecting fees.”
 Here are 475,000 reasons you need to be a hands-on leader of your Dental Team:
“Former office manager pleads guilty to mail fraud, embezzlement’ 

By the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A Pleasant Hills woman pleaded guilty today in federal court to one count each of mail fraud and embezzlement. Jill D’Angelo, 45, used her position as manager for a dental office in Pleasant Hills to submit false invoices to insurers and then intercept and cash the checks, pocketing about $307,000 between 2003 and 2010, prosecutors say.
U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon scheduled D’Angelo’s sentencing for Sept. 13.

You are the shareholder of this Corporation. Also the principle, if not the sole, risk holder. Your Office Manager/Financial Coordinator/ Receptionist- whatever title you wish to give her or him, is an employee of your Corporation perhaps the Chief Operating Officer.

Employees may come and go (and they do!). They can get other employment. But YOU have at risk your investment. your reputation, and your future.
 Remember that you are the President and the Chief Executive Officer of this business. Be a benevolent but firm, empowering, hands-on Leader. That does not insinuate “micro-managing”. Delegate but be aware. If you want to learn more about Leading the Dental Team, contact me at
This article is not meant to discuss employee engagement. That is a separate topic. 
Set the rules and procedures of YOUR practice and YOUR expectations in an Employee Manual. Create Management Reports highlighting production and collections, review the results, and discuss them with your team. Employee management is part of YOUR job as President.


“My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”

— Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) Third Prime Minister of India