Be a Lighthouse for Your Team

A couple of days ago in the Orthopreneurs group, many of us jokingly answered the question: “You know you mad a mistake in hiring when….”
The answers were both hysterical and horrifying. From odd behavior to criminal activity, it was clear that for many of us the hiring process led to a less than perfect outcome. There have also been many in the 4000+  member group who have often remarked that they just can’t seem to find a team member who’s honest, hard-working, shows up regularly and gets along with the other team members.
So, today I ask you two questions:
1. Why do we see such odd employee behavior our industry?
2. How can we manage an applicant pool that often causes us to lower our standards of what we deem “acceptable”?
I can’t give you an answer to the first question. I have lots of theories and hypotheses, but I can’t prove any of them, so what’s the point?
However, with respect to the second question, there’s a lot we can do. We can lengthen the hiring process, do our due-diligence, let our team play a role in the process of adding new team members, have well-written job descriptions, solid policies and systems and a formal indoctrination process.
We can also be role models for our team members. In 27 years in practice, I’ve probably met and gotten to know hundreds of team members from my office and others. Many come from broken homes, perhaps with limited life options and immediate financial needs that caused them to choose dental assisting or office administration. I know, that’s not all of our team members, but it’s a trend I feel I’ve seen.
Many of our team members have also never seen or had a positive role model in their lives. We have an opportunity to help them learn things (together while we learn them) that will change their lives. Things like money management, communication skills, interpersonal relationship success, nutrition for health and so much more to which they have never been introduced.
While we strive to make a difference in the lives of our patients, we often forget that the ones whose lives we can change the most (beyond our families) are those of our team members. We often don’t have full control of the employment pool from which we choose team members, and never forget that once we bring them on board, it’s up to us to try and help them become everything they can be both in and outside of our office.
I have also been plagued with some pretty poor hiring choices, but I will nonetheless never stop trying to help them be all they can be and try to make my team and my office culture as positive and welcoming as possible.
Wishing you all the best!!!
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