“Team” is an extremely powerful word. I use the term to describe the most important relationships in life. My family is a team, my group of close friends is a team, and in professional life my employees are my team and my clients are my team. When I reflect on successes in my life, I also reflect on the immeasurable amounts of support and teamwork that supported and led me on the journey to achieving those successes. This team mentality is not only applicable in all aspects of life, it is essential!
Teamwork is also essential for practice success however, teamwork is hard work, it requires teambuilding, and dedication to common goals for the team and the practice to thrive. Office staff is often a varied group, with different personalities, backgrounds, levels of education, strengths, weaknesses, and problem-solving skills. It can be difficult to get everyone to focus their energy in the same direction and work together rather than against each other. The effort you put in to teambuilding now, will pay dividends in the end.
In teambuilding it is important to celebrate the differences of the group, and appreciate the value that each individual brings to the table. When you get all these people focused together, you will accomplish more in less time and build comradery, while increasing the efficiency of the office.
Achievements of a Successful Team
• Improved Communication – Each member of the group contributes to the conversation, gives input, and helps make decisions
• Meet and Exceed Practice Goals
• Strengthened Relationships with Staff, Patients, the Community
• Reduced Unhealthy Conflicts – Create an atmosphere where conflict is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the team and the practice, rather than break it down.
• Improved Problem Solving Skills
• Understanding of Each Individual’s Contribution – The flow and success of the practice depends on the understand of individual roles and how they fit together to
• A Motivating and Enjoyable Environment for both Patients and Staff
• Improved Patient Retention and Compliance
• Improved New Patient Visits
• Overall Practice Growth
Building Successful Teams and a Culture of Teamwork in Your Office
• Foster communication…ALL communication. Don’t suppress conflict simply because it makes people uncomfortable. If there is a problem, address it through your conflict resolution skills.
• Make sure everyone understands the plan and their role in achieving the goals.
• Define job descriptions for each team member.
• Hold weekly staff meetings and daily huddles.
• Set clearly defined goals.
• Teamwork is rewarded and recognized.
• Acknowledge successes as well as failures. Be sure to use each as an opportunity to gain knowledge.
• Talk to your team to discover the best path forward in team building activities.
I don’t know of ONE office in my 25-year-long career of consultation, practice building and education that wouldn’t benefit from focused and comprehensive teambuilding and strengthening. Just imagine the change that is possible when you have that strong team, all working together towards a shared goal. The power is palpable, and the results are unmatched!
Lori W Allen