Dear Office Managers,
This letter is specifically for YOU. We see you and we see all that you do in a day!
As someone who has been an office manager in a dental practice in the past, I can say with no reservations that having strong leadership skills is essential to manage a practice. Management is not easy, and there is no magic formula, but there are a few things I wish that others would have shared with me, prior to starting!
Back when I was a manager, I remember feeling so pressed for time and sometimes all over the place because of juggling so many jobs and trying to get all tasks completed for the day.
We understand the pressure that you are under.
So, I want to share with you a few things that I learned along the way and share a few tips that are important for being a great Office Manager and to create strong leaders in a successful practice:
1. BE A STRONG LEADER / MENTOR - Be an inspirational leader and engage with your team members. In order to connect with your team, you need to have open communication, and be honest! Don’t be demanding or give out orders, but rather teach them, along with setting clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and expectations in their job descriptions. When you see they have reached a goal or went out of their way for a patient in the practice, Say "thank you" or buy them a coffee - something to show you appreciate how they went above and beyond! An employee who feels valued will work hard for you and feel more accomplished and proud. Most importantly, it is critical to make sure you follow up and give feedback. Tell them how well they are doing and coach them more if they are having issues grasping something. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE!!!!
2. DON’T MAKE EMPTY PROMISES – Don’t ever promise your team members something you may not be able to give or change in the practice. If they ask for a raise or have an issue, listen and hear what they have to say and let them know that you will discuss the matter with the Doctor and get back to them! Don’t ever delay or put off the issue off, and make sure to deal with it as quick as possible. Make sure you are communicating clearly with your boss as well, when meeting to discuss the issue!
3. DON’T PUT OFF THAT MEETING - Make sure to manage your calendar and try to keep all meetings that you have scheduled. Of course, if there is an emergency that can’t wait, deal with it and then reschedule the meeting as soon as possible, so your team members don’t feel that you are putting them off. If you put off that meeting with them, they will start to feel not valued or important and we never want any team member to feel like this.
And remember, all employees want to succeed in their workplace and be as productive as possible. They need to clearly understand what is expected of them along with having continued guidance within their role. When this is established, you will begin to create an atmosphere of trust and respect between your team members and yourself. One other important thing is to make sure that you keep the communication lines open and be flexible when enforcing certain rules, as you may need to take into account extenuating circumstances.
I understand and value the importance of creating strong leaders in your team and I see many of you doing the same! I truly admire how so many of you are working hard on your leadership skills and want to commend you to not give up and push through the hard days.
Practice Operations Coach-Stream Dental HR