By Drs. Bill and Christina Blatchford Dental Coaching
During a dental coaching conversation with a doctor about her team, I learned money and bonuses are not the complete, “Currency,” for keeping a good team. The doctor shared how grateful she is for her team. She feels being able to work with them is a real privilege. As the leader, she wanted to be sure that she was rewarding them both emotionally and financially.
As we delved deeper into the subject, I asked her if she had ever observed her team as individuals to see what other forms of reward, in addition to money, that might be important to them. We discussed this for quite some time and were both enlightened with some new ideas.
Some of the things we talked about included noticing when someone does something out of the ordinary and rewarding them on the spot with a gift card or complementing them in front of a patient. We spoke about giving bonus checks in special unique cards or funky Christmas stockings, having theme days at work, being specific with the thing for which we compliment our team members, and encouraging our teams to do the same amongst themselves. It really builds the team and keeps attitudes positive.
I am constantly asking myself how we can learn more and teach our Dental Coaching clients more things to help them be successful. I am relentless and very serious about staying ahead of the curve and helping our clients incorporate these ideas into their practices.
One answer is the concept of the evening team huddle where we complete the day. It lasts no more than 10 minutes. During the day, the doctor notices something about each team member and complements him or her specifically at the evening meeting. What a great way to end the day! This stemmed from a more formal, and equally effective, method I found that was a bit uncomfortable at first. Yet, it worked exceptionally well. It is an exercise where we were encouraged to have one person sit in the center of the team and receive sincere specific compliments from each person. I guarantee you will have “tissue moments” because it is so overwhelming to have each person from the team make you feel special. Next week, it was someone else’s turn. Try this about every six months in the round. It’s a great way to kick off a team meeting.
I began reading a book recently called, “Why Pride Matters More Than Money,” by Jon Katzenbach. It started me thinking about the different “currencies” we all value.
The idea that everyone has different things that provide value to him or her is not new. I like to call these things currencies. Everyone has a sequenced list of currencies that are important to him or her. The top three are usually money, recognition, and security. They line up in different orders depending on the person, their background, and their situation.
We can look at examples like the military, which doesn’t pay well financially. They use recognition as a form of currency (medals, ceremonies, etc.) to reward their employees with great success.
Big corporate or government jobs may offer security and safety as the currency for which people will trade money in the form of less pay and little recognition. Others find that money is their most important form of currency. This doesn’t make one form of currency better than another, just different.
So how does this affect our dental practices? Our teams all have different forms of currency that are important to them. We can move our teams to the next level by finding out what currency is important to them as individuals and rewarding accordingly. The next time you’re wondering why someone isn’t performing to their potential, take a closer look at them to see what is their most important form of currency. Figuring this out and using it could really help that person blossom.
I am reminded of an experience when I was practicing. My hygienist and I were discussing her bonus and that she was grateful she had the opportunity to make a big difference financially for her family. However, I could tell she was holding back something she really wanted to say.
When I asked, she told me she was so grateful for her job, the supportive environment in which we worked, and that her care helped our patients stay healthy. Then she added that she really appreciated the times when I expressed my gratitude for her hard work, but that I expressed my acknowledgement and gratitude too infrequently.
It hit me like a lightening bolt. I just assumed that since she was paid exceptionally well, she earned every penny of it, and that she earned a paid week of vacation every month, that it was enough. That she was happy. I was wrong.
After that, I made it a point to add that, “Currency,” to her pay package. She quickly moved from good to great. It was so simple, yet I totally overlooked it. Not any more. The lesson she gave me was to always look to see if another form of currency is desired. I learned to be more observant and see if there are other, “Currencies,” that are important to our team before they have to ask.
This is one of many tools we teach our Dental Coaching clients in order to help them create a fun place to work where people earn more money doing what they love.
Our inspirational quote for the week is from Tony Robbins: “Instead of the reckless pursuit of more, we should act on the intentional pursuit of less.”
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