Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Don’t Skimp on the Help

We, as business owners, are constantly finding ways to improve the bottom line. It’s not that we are cheap or trying to cut corners. We run a business, one that allows us to feed our families, pay our mortgages, and go on those lavish trips to…err, I have a one-year-old. I’m not going anywhere at the moment!

With this, we’re always trying to find the best lab for the quality and cost, the best filling material for durability and cost, the best landscaper for greener grass and less money, and the best staff for the price.

Aaaaand here’s where I’m going to stop you….

In my six years out of school, if I’ve learned one golden rule, it is this: Don’t skimp on the help. Your daily schedule, patient experience, success, and livelihood depend directly on the staff you have around you. Our practice, for the majority of the time I’ve been out of school, has tried to keep our staff numbers to the minimum required level, and their salaries to a minimum as well. And it backfired. There were times when I was so unhappy to show up to work. And darn if it took me this long to realize it was 95 percent team related. One (or three) bad apple spoils the batch. They’re a chink in your otherwise strong armor. And they spread their bad attitudes like wildfire.

We have figured this out. The bad apples are out, staff numbers are at a more appropriate level for the speed and efficiency at which we like to work, and salaries are up. By golly, if morale isn’t at an all-time high. And imagine this—production and collections are up to a level that negates any increased cost in staffing.

I’m sure I’m talking to an audience who has already figured this out. But for those of you who were like me for so long, take a step back and evaluate your staff as a whole. Get rid of the bad apples—you’ll find better staff members. Trust me. Give that dedicated assistant or care coordinator a raise. Take them out on a fun social outing. Make it a regular thing. After all, these are the individuals who determine if you go home happy and reinvigorated at the end of the day or show up at home tired, angry, and ready for a beer. The former is so much more fun.

There are many ways to help out your bottom line in the new year, but don’t make staff one of them. Don’t skimp on the help!

Donald Murray III, DMD


Jordan said...

Some excellent points here. It's so important that the people that work with you are working the best they can. Thanks for sharing this advice!

Jack Morrison said...

I wished everyone understood this and took it positively. Thanks for the enlightening post!

Anonymous said...

I wished everyone understood this and took it positively. Thanks for the enlightening post!


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