DBSC Brainstorming

Handling Staff Difficulties

You didn’t attend dental school to become a supervisor. But as the practice owner, you bear the responsibility for managing a team. Unfortunately, that sometimes involves tackling tough situations that you just can’t afford to shy away from. Here’s some step-by-step advice for handling difficulties when they arise.

  1. Expect team member issues to occur. The only dentist who doesn’t have any problems with team members is the dentist who doesn’t have any staff. Team members are human, and sometimes they mess up. And occasionally, their personal lives will interfere with their work. Begin to view personnel issues as the norm in the life of a business.

  1. Make a plan to address the situation. How are you going to work with the team member to help them grow? Don’t delay―the longer you wait to take action, the more morale will suffer as other staff members will be affected by the negative atmosphere in the practice.

  1. Be straightforward with the individual. Meet with the person privately, lay out the realities of the situation, state what has to improve and schedule follow-up meetings.

Be encouraged by that fact that in most cases, dentists (including you!) can be stronger leaders. Instead of being afraid that team members will quit because you’re confronting them, be afraid that if you don’t step in and provide guidance, they may not improve.