Trait #1- Rock Star Hygienists love setting and achieving goals

Trait #1- They love setting and achieving goals! Rock star hygienists are committed to achieving and even EXCEEDING goals. The rock star hygienist thrives on a sense of accomplishment. This type of team member responds well to the idea of being rewarded with team bonus based on goal achievement.

Want to bring out the rock star in YOUR hygienist? Try setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. This means rather than, “OK team, we need to start doing more fluoride.” You structure the goal to be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. Take a look at the fluoride example reworked into a S.M.A.R.T format:

“Starting Monday, implement a strong risk-based fluoride program to bring our current adult fluoride percentage up from 3% currently to 25% in the next 3 months.”

Here’s a detailed breakdown of SMART goal setting.

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. You want to take fluoride from 3% to 25%.

Measurable: Establish measurable criteria for tracking progress toward the attainment of each goal you set.

When you measure your progress, you stay on track. Incremental goals are a great way to keep your team moving forward. So if you started at 3% of adults receiving fluoride, your goal at the end of the first month might be 10%, then 20%, then 25%.

Attainable: Attainable goals should be set so that you have to “stretch” a little bit in order to achieve it. “Stretching” doesn’t mean setting unrealistic goals. Increasing fluoride to 25% is realistic. It’s a lot higher than 3% but you’re not saying, I expect us to do fluoride on 100% of our adult patients.

Relevant: To be relevant, a goal must represent an objective that you are emotionally committed to. Your hygiene team is more likely to be on board and move forward if they have a strong ‘why’. So for fluoride, what is the compelling reason for recommending it to patients with mod-high cavity risk? Less decay and fewer restorations? Current restorations lasting longer?

Timely: Without a timeline keeping you committed, a goal easily falls off your radar. You’re goal is to increase fluoride to 25% within 3 months.

The rock star hygienist also thrives on earning a reward once he/she achieves the goal. Remember, we all like to have a sense of accomplishment in our professional lives – make the reward something meaningful! Maybe it’s a ½ day of paid vacation per quarter or a cash team bonus or a fun team lunch at a special restaurant.

Next week, I’ll reveal Trait #2. See you then!

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