Is your workplace productive? According to Gallup’s worldwide surveys, 87% of employees are not engaged in their duties. By the same logic, I would assume most of our dental employees are also not engaged. The level of employee engagement among Gallup’s best clients with highly engaging and high-performing cultures outperform their peers by 147%. I have always believed that my offices could produce over $20,000-$25,000 per employee per month because of consistent engagement driven by a strong culture.
This culture and the ultimate engagement of your staff for a common purpose begins with a triad organization. Every practice I have owned based it’s systems, goals, and culture on being Purpose Driven, Doctor Led, and Staff Owned. Each of these three areas demands a commitment to strengthen and improve throughout your careers. Purpose Driven speaks to the “why” you do what you do. Doctor Leadership creates the vision and defines what is core in your practice. Staff Ownership is key to being able to execute that vision. Your staff members are actually the soldiers in the trenches that maintain the culture you create through vision and modeling.
Max sent me a study done in the UK with healthcare offices where they took thousands of different locations and measured how incentives affected the quality of care. What they found was that the minute you remove these financial incentives, there will be 62.3% reduction in performance. This should take you back to the first paragraph where we find that high engagement means at least a 147% increase over the average employee and office. Hopefully you are seeing the connection with WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) being tied to organizational culture and incentives for the employees that actually deliver these services.
Just to be clear, when we talk about financial incentives, we are not saying that money motivates people. Incentive and motivation are two entirely different things. When you hire an employee, he or she will walk through the door possessing people skills and already being internally motivated. Or not. No amount of money will motivate a poor choice of employees. The money is an incentive in the form of profit sharing. That is why I have never had a practice where a great deal of my employee’s total pay was not in the form of profit sharing. While most offices call this a “bonus”, I look at it as sharing the profits made possible by their strong commitment and high level of engagement. When the office makes more money, every employee will also get an equal share.
Take the time to organize your business plan so that profit is shared, excellence is encouraged, commitment to your vision for the practice is unquestioned, and serving the patient is job one. Once you partner with your staff for a common purpose, you will achieve the results you always thought you deserved. The clock is ticking, and excuses are overrated. Success is measured in the small things we do each minute of every day. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
PS. The Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition of The Super General Dental Practice book is now available. If you liked the original, you’ll really love this one. If you missed the original, you don’t want to miss this one. Order yours today by clicking on this link.