An article by Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca, DDS.
Attitude and social development are reviewed on a child’s kindergarten report card. “Exhibits a positive attitude, shows respect, interacts positively, displays self-discipline, and accepts responsibility for their own actions” are all evaluated in a six-year-old. Why then, do some dentists struggle with these topics of accountability when dealing with team members?
Maintaining a high level of team performance is not easy. It will require setting individual goals, tracking performance, and discussing accountability with under performers. Individual coaching may be required in an effort to inspire improvement.
Accountability is self-discipline, taking responsibility, and being honest. There’s no room for “Fake it ’til you make it” on a dental team. Each team member is responsible for his or her actions, social behavior, choices, work accuracy, and performance. These are all factors of accountability.
Managing your team will take courage, communication, and candor. Issues will need to be addressed for improvement. Taking action will create trust, encourage debate, and allow constructive conflict to occur. Communication moves an organization forward and accountability allows personal assignments to be fulfilled.
Create public accountability by keeping score of individual performance indicators measured quantitatively. This will let team members be accountable for what is a good day and what is not. Moments of accountability will collectively build into weeks, months, and years. Make your accountability visible to everyone on the team.
Celebrating accountability will produce job satisfaction for everyone on the team. Remember to publicly reward a team member’s accountability, performance and effort for a job well done. What you reward gets repeated. Rewards could include a card, thanks at the next team meeting, a gift certificate, or award. When accountability is achieved or surpassed, celebrate!
Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca is author of the books “Beyond the Morning Huddle- HR Management for a Successful Dental Practice” and “It All Starts with Marketing- 201 Marketing Tips for Growing a Dental Practice.” She has been a speaker at the AAO Annual Sessions including the recent 2017 event. Dr. Gorczyca hosted a Women’s Orthodontic Conference with Dr. Donna Galante at NESO, New York City, in 2016. She is an orthodontist in private practice in Antioch, California.