Obstacle #4: There’s no Training

Training goes hand in hand with accountability. When you agree to a certain job, you must have the skills to complete the task at hand. If you don’t, you must find the resources for it. The sink-or-swim philosophy of training is never productive. It leads to staff turn over and can interfere with effective communication and bonding between team members.

Here are a few tips to ensure proper training for your team:

1-When purchasing new equipment or software, purchase the training package. The money you spend will be money saved in time spent ‘figuring out’ all the nuances of the technology. The faster your team can learn to use the new digital x-rays system you purchased, the sooner they can be productive with it and the less likely they will develop frustration and want to go back to the old way of doing things.

2-Develop an operations manual for your practice. This is not a task for you, doctor. This is a task for your seasoned, trusted team members to begin to create systems around everything they do from answering the phone to assisting in a crown prep. And when I say systems, I mean step-by-step-by-step.

3-Give a new team member every chance to succeed. Plan on AT LEAST 3-4 weeks of training before expecting them to be up to speed on all your processes and procedures. Prepare each member of your team to allow the new team member to ‘shadow’ them for a few days. If you hire an assistant, allow her to spend time with the admin team and the hygiene team. Make sure new team members read the operations manual and view any CDs or DVDs you have in your training library.

4-Find out who’s good at a certain task and make them the ‘trainer’ for that task. If you have one hygienist who is fantastic at utilizing the digital camera, have him train the team and new staff that come on board. You’ll create a team of experts and everyone feels appreciated for their talents and accountable to contribute to team training.

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