Free Newsletter Call Email

January 1, 2019

Service Starts With The TEAM!

Service Starts With The TEAM!
I often find there is a misconception about service. A belief that service starts with the patients and doesn’t really pertain to the team. In other words we must treat our patients exceptional but not so much each other. It’s as if there is an entirely different set of standards for patients than there is for the team pertaining to attitude, behavior and communication. What I refer to as the ABC Standards.  Service starts with the team!
I have the privilege of working with dental teams nationwide to help them create a happier, healthier and higher performing service culture. I witness some team members (including doctors and managers) treating other team members poorly. That same poor behavior towards a patient would be grounds for dismissal.
We make excuses for our behavior. We use labels and say this is just how we are. For example, I am direct, which really means, I say whatever is on my mind without any regard of how I may make you feel. Or I am a non-morning person, which means because I am a non-morning person others should just understand my moodiness.
What confounds me is watching the same direct or non-morning person flip a switch and turn it on for their patients. It is like watching a Jekyll and Hyde transformation. We believe it is acceptable to turn the respect and kindness filters off for each other. After all we wouldn’t want to be fake would we? We also know they will just accept or put up with our poor behavior. We frequently even turn it off for the people we love the most like our family. I find it thought-provoking that we put filters of kindness and respect on for strangers and acquaintances and don’t for the people we care about and love the most. Something seems a little backward with this behavior.
It’s time to put the filters back on and start service with the team. I teach the Golden Standard; treat each other as well or better than you treat your patients. Now that doesn’t mean lessening the standard for patient service.

Creating ABC Standards for how the team will treat each other will help cultivate a service culture that is happier, healthier and higher performing! ABC Standards increase clarity, unity, congruency, level of service, and your business reputation; while preventing the chafing and disagreements from assumptions and opinions of who is right and wrong.
Have a team meeting with the entire team to discuss ABC Standards for your practice. Ask each team member to share what they feel they need from each other to be able to work together better. I find using a big easel pad with markers to write down the responses helps to generate more participation.   Be specific and define what it means in words, actions, body language and tone of voice. Some examples might be:
Be Likable
Give benefit of doubt
Be Honest
Be Compassionate
Be Trustworthy
Have an Ownership Mentality
Be Respectful
Lead by Example
Be Reliable
Be Appreciative
Be Fun
(If you would like to receive a copy of my ABC’s Sample Standards please email me at JudyKay@PracticeSolutionsInc.net and write ABC’s Sample in the subject line.)
Create a document titled Team ABC’s Standards Document with the team standards. Print it out, frame it and put it on display wherever one can see it daily. A lunch room or locker room often works well. Your daily huddle is a great opportunity to create accountability. Discuss on a daily basis how they did the previous day as an individual and as a team supporting the standards. Where did they rock it and where can they raise it? The more you discuss your standards on a daily basis the more real and alive they become.
It is crucial that the ABC Standards are adhered to by the Leadership Team. The team will look to leadership and mimic their behaviors. Never create something you are not comfortable supporting. Everything starts and stops with leadership. It’s time to model the waddle to a happier, healthier and higher performing team culture!

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for posting this awesome article. I’m a long
    time reader but I’ve never been compelled to leave a comment.

    I subscribed to your blog and shared this on my Facebook.

    Thanks again for a great post!

    Comment by Meepo — January 7, 2019 @ 8:54 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment