Change your mindset about sharing practice numbers with your dental team

There is a wide range of opinions and philosophies around the topic of sharing practice numbers with the dental team. One week I will be working with an office where the doctor openly shares practice profitability, metrics, and forecasting goals with his team. The next week in a different location, the practice numbers and vision are all behind closed doors. Working with different dental practices all over the country, I have learned to navigate the waters and help the doctor shift his mindset being open, honest and transparent about the practice numbers . . . to a degree.

I am not saying that you should be sharing your entire P & L (which has sensitive salary details in it ) with the dental team. What I am saying is that your dental team has significant weight when it comes to helping control office expenses, salary overhead, and practice profitability. Your team members are stakeholders in your business and should be treated as that.

When I went to work in my second dental practice, I came in with the experience of working with a doctor who openly shared and encouraged the team to participate in the sharing of ideas, goal setting, and annual planning activities. It was not just encouraged, but part of the culture of the practice. In this small solo practice, we had morning huddles, weekly department meetings, and monthly team meetings where practice numbers were always part of the discussion. The doctor knew that being on a team where everyone knew the score would increase the chances of reaching the practice potential.

If you or your doctor are looking to be more open, honest, and transparent about the financial health of the practice, then here are a few tips to getting started . . .

  • Talk about WHY numbers matter. Numbers give you something to celebrate and information to improve your systems. The celebrations come in the form of pay raises, team retreats, lunches on the doc, etc.
  • Start out small. Add in a couple of key metrics into your morning huddle like, “Are you at goal today?” and “Who owes money today.” Starting to get the team to look at the daily KPIs will start the mind shift of being a stakeholder in a small business.
  • Pick out the top five line items on your P&L that your team have influence over. For example: collections, clinical supplies, materials, lab expense, office supplies, and payroll expense. Your team can help control the cost of supplies by working with a vendor that understands and works with your budget. Make sure the team is clocking in and out at the correct times and not working late to work on their clinical notes.
  • Learn how to generate the Daily Huddle and the Practice Advisor Report in your Dentrix software or add an online analytics dashboard like Jarvis Analytics. Look back on past blog posts to read about accurate setup in your Dentrix appointment book and adding goals into the software.

I have seen first-hand how involving the dental team in discussing, monitoring, and analyzing practice numbers has positively influenced the health of the practice. I have also witnessed how it empowers people with a greater feeling of ownership toward their job.