Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Fall 2017 - 51

Healing

Maintaining Healthy Back-Office Morale
Tressa Reeder
Arizona School of
Dentistry & Oral Health

There are few goals more important than having
a great team in your office. But how can you
assemble a great team and keep that team
great? You have to encourage your employees
and recognize their talents. I have found some
ideas that can help.
Interviewing Skills
I don't know about you, but I have interviewed
some ill-prepared people. Interviewees arrive in
jeans and tank tops, and swivel back and forth in
their chairs. Some candidates don't know how to
answer the simplest questions. I believe it is up
to us to help these people to expand their skills
for their future interviews.
To get a great job, one must have excellent interview skills. First impressions are everything. We
need to teach candidates to improve their nonverbal communication, which gives unspoken
clues and information to others. Facial expression, tone of voice, and body language are all
examples of unspoken communication we use
daily. We can show interviewees the correct way
to present themselves in an interview by modeling the desired behavior.
Of course, verbal skills are also necessary; one
must articulate his/her words properly, and
answer questions in an appropriate manner.
I also believe a candidate should dress to impress,
following the adage that says, "one should dress
as if he/she already has the job." I believe the best
item one can wear is his/her smile, which says
so much about a person. A bright, sunny smile
beams positive energy into the interview - and
is so important in the orthodontic field. Candidates should strive to look sharp. When we hire
someone who looks sharp in an interview, it generally translates to having a clean appearance in
the field. Many patients would say it is important
that staff looks clean and tidy, as individual
appearance projects the image of the practice.
Modeling this attribute for employees sets a
great example for your practice.

Fall 2017  PCSO Bulletin

Training
Training is one of the largest investments
involved with a new hire. In the office where I
work, I train externs; I was an instructor for a dental college. Students learn the basics in their programs; technical school training usually takes 10
months to a year. When they get into real office
settings, they are nervous and insecure. It is our
job to help them by building their confidence
and skills. I have seen firsthand what an extern
can do when shown the proper ways to handle
various situations. With training, they may blossom into an awesome assistant.
Once the new assistant has polished their skills,
they begin to build confidence, which can
brighten their personality. Assisting skills can be
easily taught; personality is a little trickier (but
not impossible). The supervisor can guide the
new employee in the right direction, showing
them how to behave with patients and even how
to show empathy. Once all of these items fall into
place, you have your perfect team.
Teambuilding
Teambuilding is crucial to maintaining an amazing team in your office. To build an effective
team, you have to build confidence and trust;
friendships naturally follow. In dental offices, we
are always busy - there is barely any time to say
"hi" to each other before we are off to the next
patient. Having a 10-minute team huddle in the
morning is a great way to go over the plan for the
day and to connect with each other, smile, and
laugh a bit before the day starts. It helps to get
everyone on the same page. A positive attitude is
contagious! If your office manager or lead has a
positive attitude, it will rub off on the other staff.
Make encouraging comments to staff throughout the day; they are always appreciated, and
the habit often trickles down to other staff and
patients. When you forget to give positive feedback to your staff, morale declines. Employees
may feel they are not doing a good job, which
affects their outlook, in turn bringing down
morale and creating a ripple effect.

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists Bulletin Fall 2017

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