Training your dental staffOne of the biggest mistakes you can make as a dental professional, is not training your dental staff in a timely manner. Habits become a way of doing things, and are hard to break. It’s best that you enact operations trainings immediately after a new hire comes on board, and annually for the entire practice from there on out.

Making a Plan
Your very first step will be to create an office manual and training checklist. Inside of the manual should be a detailed job description including position responsibilities, practice policies, and general employee information. This eliminates problems like someone saying, “it’s not my job” later on.

Invest in Support Materials and Resources
Sometimes it’s possible to hire someone you know will be a great employee, but doesn’t necessarily have the experience to be right on par with where you would like them to be. That’s why it’s vital to utilize training tools such as printed workbooks, videos, or even off-site lectures as part of your annual office training.

Keeping Your Entire Team In Check
One of the best ways to keep your practice staff in check when it comes to methodologies, procedures, and efficiency is to train together. Consider having a consulting firm manage your staff training, or work with your employees to find out what helps the office run more efficiently. A 3rd party is great for an unbiased analysis of just how well your staff are working, and what needs to be fixed.

Attending conferences and lectures provides a fun time away from the office, and builds lifelong relationships between staff. It also ensures that the same person trains everyone in the same manner, at the same time. This can be a great way to “break away” from bad work habits that are dragging down productivity.

After each training, be sure to write up a goal list with “accomplish by” dates, and follow up on them.

Include it as a Benefit
Team members like hygienists or associate dentists are required to complete continuing education each year. Including it as a part of their employee benefits will help to attract quality staff that you can count on later.

If you haven’t done it in a while, the first time back at training your dental staff may be a bit painful – but stick with it, and it will pay off in the long haul!