When we return to work, there will be so many different issues flying our way that we may have trouble remembering those closest to us, our team. Just as when we sometimes forget to appreciate our family at home, we will likely do so with our team at certain points as well. We will get caught up in worry about our cash flow, our production and how hot and tiring the PPE is.
To Emerge Stronger you will need to need to ensure that your team comes first and foremost, you need their support to achieve all of your other goals. Appreciating your team isn’t just on financial terms, it will mean that you include everyone in the decision making around safety and daily office operations. Items like ensuring that your admin team is just as safe as your clinical team is of utmost importance and ensuring that you have relentless implementation of all RCDSO guidelines.
You may have listened to many webinars during your time off and you may have planned for many scenarios already either in your head or your notes. Your team isn’t in your head and will not understand your notes, so communicating your plan to all will be necessary. Just telling one person and hoping they relay the message properly isn’t going to work at this point, it will become a bad game of broken telephone. Daily meetings as a unified method of communication is best practice right now.
I will ask you to be very clear in your goals to your team, not just once but repeatedly. Everyone is going to be nervous to some degree because for all, this is different than anything we have ever dealt with before. When you are nervous you don’t always comprehend everything that is told to you, so repetition will help your team learn and live the new goals for the office. The goals at this point should not be production oriented at all. You need to run your office to service your team and patient’s safety first and your goals need to be around this initially. Once we transition to non-essential services, we will be able to start setting new goals for each practice.
Your success in Emerging Stronger from the pandemic will come from the emotional resilience that you show as a leader. I have spoken previously of showing some of your own vulnerability with your team, it will support a more cohesive team in the long run. There is a difference though in you showing your vulnerability and showing defeat to your team. If you appear defeated and deflated to your team then they will mirror that behaviour as well. Yes, you will be under incredible pressure on many fronts you will have to keep it together better than you ever have before. Inserting humour and fun into the day will be helpful to all, just ensure that you aren’t making fun of anyone just of a situation, you want to have a safe work environment.
There is a frequently used saying in the dental world, “To have a productive practice; if you take care of patients, the numbers will come.” I will change this to “Take care of your team and your patients and the production will come.” Having everyone on YOUR team will provide your practice with success moving forward.