Team Accountability: Why It Matters And How YOU Set The Standard
Building a dental practice is a competitive business. It is important to know how to set your practice apart from the rest.
Creating a dental practice founded in an empowered and accountable team creates a culture and practice where teams thrive and your patients feel seen, heard, valued and well cared for.
When a dental practice is accountable to themselves and each other they are able to stay focused, aligned, intentional and committed to both their individual and the collective goals of the practice. Each team member is motivated by the same standards of the practice and the consequences when those standards aren’t met. This accountability creates an even playing field that cultivates a ‘we’ mindset which helps unifies the team.
When dental practices lack accountability, team members often adopt a ‘me’ or ‘us vs them’ mindset that decreases the level of integrity and motivation within the team. Over time, this creates a chaotic and resentful work environment where small oversights turn into mountainous problems quickly.
How can a dental team stay accountable to themselves and the practice as a whole?
Below we break it down for you with 6 effective ways to keep your dental team accountable.
#1 Create And Communicate Clear Deliverables For Each Team Member
In order for a team member to be accountable to their goals, they need to understand what their goals are. Be sure that you communicate to each team member their individual goals in detail and with clear deadlines as well as the collective goals of the dental practice. Ask them if they have any questions and take time to answer them until you are certain that they are clear and empowered and ready to rock their goals!
#2 Make Goals Measurable
Set your team up to win by making their goals (and the goals of the practice) measurable. Communicate how the goals will be measured clearly and specifically so they understand how their efforts will be tracked. When your team knows what is expected of them and the timeline they have to meet those expectations, they are better able to take ownership and responsibility for their work.
#3 Bring Accountability To Weekly Meetings
You can empower your team with confidence by helping them tackle issues before their goals and deadlines are due. Use time during each weekly team meeting to check in on all team member deliverables and those of the practice. Allow each team member to provide an update, identify potential roadblocks and let the team offer solutions and support for that team member. This ‘round robin’ accountability approach helps your team give and receive support so that they can collectively succeed in their goals and get a big win for the practice. The more wins your team experiences, the more motivated and confident they become.
#4 Create An Accountability Buddy System
Provide more accountability and team building within your dental practice by assigning accountability buddies within your team. These accountability buddies serve as additional support systems where they can offer support, solutions, ideas for each other on a 1:1 basis and build trust, connection and loyalty within the team.
#5 Incentivize Accountability
There has to be a MOFA (motivating factor) for your team to want to stay accountable to themselves and the practice. What is your team’s MOFA? Is it a team party for all goals hit per quarter? Is the incentive bonuses based on performance? Identify what would be incentivizing to your team, perhaps ask them and let the team discover it together! Once you have your practice’s MOFA, communicate expectations and guidelines around what needs to be true for the practice to receive the big MOFA!
#6 Keep YOURSELF Accountable
This might be the most important one of them all! If you want to create a team that is accountable YOU must stay accountable, yourself. You must walk the walk while you talk the accountability talk! To do this, set your own measurable goals, communicate them to the team, call yourself out when you hit inevitable roadblocks and demonstrate how you brainstorm and apply solutions to those roadblocks. Be the example of accountability that you want to see from your team. This will be the biggest motivator for them of all!
What changes could you make in the way you run your practice to build more structures for accountability?