Engagement is considered the key element of success in 21st-century business.
What is engagement? An “engaged employee” is a person who is fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests. Forbes says that “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals. This emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company” (Forbes, June 12, 2012).
When team members believe in the service being provided or the product being sold—and when they do everything that is expected of them and more every day—relationships with clients/patients are not only established but also retained. That’s engagement.
Engaged employees who create and retain customers/patients are the heartbeat of any healthy organization—including a dental practice.
How Does An Organization Create Engaged Team Members?
- The mission and vision—or culture—of the organization must focus upon employee development, as well as on customer service and patient care. Take care of the team members so that they can take care of the patients.
- Make retention a valuable and honored asset to the company. Reward people for retention. While it is critical to nurture a new patient flow, it is equally as important to retain the existing patient family.
- Develop a culture dedicated to employee improvement and success. When your team members are on the cutting edge, stretched, fulfilled, excited—that will transfer to your patients. Invest in the development of your team members. This investment will come back to you multi-fold.
- Obtain feedback from your patients/clients and share this feedback with employees. Ask for reviews.
- Recognize and continue the things that are going well and alter the things that need improvement.
- Use quantitative measurements to determine the impact of engagement—or the lack thereof. Establish benchmarks or goals for your company and track those to make sure your systems and people are reaching them. Express appreciation for work well done. Support people when they willingly make necessary alterations or changes for the betterment of the practice.
- Use the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Treat your team members just as you would want them to treat you—and how you would want them to treat your patients. The way team members treat patients will be a direct reflection of how the doctor/owners treat the team members. Be a role model—a good one.
Encourage team members to become engaged in the growth and development of the organization. Encourage team members to find better ways to serve your patients. Listen to their ideas. Let all team members know that they are valuable and valued. Engaged team members create and retain engaged patients. Express gratitude for their commitment.
Engagement: The key element of success in 21st-century business.
Cathy Jameson, Ph.D., is the founder of Jameson Management, Inc., an international management, hygiene, and marketing firm. Dr. Cathy has lectured throughout the world and has had over 1500 articles published. She is the author of eight books, including the 3rd Edition of her bestseller, Collect What You Produce, as well as a book based on her doctoral work, Creating a Healthy Work Environment. Cathy has been named one of the top 25 Women in Dentistry and has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Excellence in Dentistry Organization and from the Academy of Dental Office Managers.