3 Powerful “Team Tips” from Highly Successful Practices Using ZenSupplies
As ZenSupplies has continued to grow, naturally, our team has focused increasingly on how we can improve our offerings, through steady, one-to-one engagement with clients and their teams.
But ironically, as we’ve taken this “deeper dive” to learn more about our clients, with the intention of improving our products and customer care,we’ve actually wound up learning more from them. Today, I’ll be sharing with you three major take-aways we’ve gained through observing our most successful clients and how they manage their businesses. And they all center around one thing: teams.
What we’ve found is that the daily routines of some of the most successful, forward-thinking practices using ZenSupplies focus almost entirely on team health. These routines, or “team tips” as we’ll call them, have served as impactful reminders for our team. And I believe they’ll powerfully impact your practice’s team, too.
But there’s a caveat. In order to effectively utilize them to their fullest, you must understand one thing, and firmly believe it: Your team always comes first, and your patients second.
That being said, here are three powerful tips from highly successful practices that can help you build a happier, healthier team, and in doing so, become a more successful practice:
1. Have daily routines that promote positivity and build rapport.
It may sound slightly trite, but it’s essential to its core. Many of the most successful practices we work with place extreme focus on daily behavioral practices – smiling more (even on Mondays), going through the front door in the mornings to greet fellow team members instead of the back, eating lunch together in-office, affirming smart responses to situations – the list goes on. All of these things promote positive thinking and build rapport among teammates.
What we noticed about our clients with teams that consistently do things like these is that they seem to have a genuine joy working together, and are well-oiled machines when it comes to managing, delegating, and assigning duties. Why? Because they’ve all bought into the positivity (rather than choosing to see it as “forced” or “mandatory”), and have a deep, foundational rapport with each other. Which brings us to our second tip…
2. Make “building trust” the focus in every interaction.
Earning trust is one of those things that sounds easy on the surface, but in reality is incredibly tricky. If both parties are committed to the right things though, it doesn’t have to be. And for clients of ours with the healthiest teams, developing trust all starts with two things: honesty and mutual appreciation.
Nothing ruins team health like gossip and passive aggression. When you brush issues “under the rug”, naturally, they fester. And when issues fester, they leak out and become toxic divides within a team, destroying any potential for collective trust. The teams of our most successful clients are honest in all situations, while also being tactful and conveying appreciation in their delivery.
If a team member has an issue with another teammate, there’s a right way to handle it (more than one, actually). Many of our more team-centric clients choose to address teammate issues with group-facilitated discussions. Doing so not only allows other team members the chance to weigh in, but also provides accountability for comments. Whether you choose to address teammate issues collectively or one-on-one though, the important thing is that you address them, and do so with the goal of building trust.
3. Clearly define who the team leader is and let them lead.
Let it be known: the practicing doctor does not have to be your “team leader”. If someone like an Office Manager has more natural leadership skills, or is a better communicator, they may be the better choice. Whoever it is, your team’s leader, and their responsibilities, must be clearly defined. And as you probably could’ve guessed, how effectively you do this is entirely dependent upon how well you and your team practice the previous two tips.
A team leader must be an individual who has earned the trust of the rest of the team, and is zealous about keeping it. But on top of having rapport with teammates and the desire to help grow the team, they must also have the ability to. This means choosing a leader who not only has the time to dedicate to team-building efforts, but also the qualities necessary to effectively implement them.
The most successful practices we work with make certain their staff knows exactly who their team leader is. And equally as important, they trust that person to lead well. If you’re the practicing dentist, don’t micromanage your team leader. If you’re a hygienist or assistant, don’t question their decisions with others. If you have a critique, pose it to them in a receivable way, then let them do with it what they may. If true trust exists, you’ll be firmly confident they’ll do what’s best for the team, and practice.
And that brings us back to square one, and what I believe lies at the heart of every great practice, company, organization, or small business – a great team.
Through working one-on-one with some of our most successful and team-centric clients, we’ve been powerfully reminded of just how crucial it is to keep team health at the forefront, and how vital it is for overall organizational growth. Hopefully these tips serve as powerful reminders for you and your team, too.