The benefits of everyone feeling “critical” to the success of the practice

One of the myriad challenges facing the independent dentist is encouraging an engaged and motivated team. An article in the Harvard Business Review examined the nature of “mission critical” positions within an organization, but we can take their findings and apply it to every employee. Their study suggests that an important factor in employee satisfaction is the degree of self-identified importance of their role to the organization’s mission. When “non-critical” employees were the focus of efforts to improve well-being, their engagement and satisfaction improved significantly.

The quick takeaway: if an employee, regardless of their actual impact, feels like he or she is “critically” important to the success of the organization, they are happier, experience more emotional commitment, and less job insecurity and burnout. Good stuff!

And as Dale Carnegie says, “People support a world which they helped create.”

So how do you act on this? It may seem difficult, but the idea is to emphasize that EVERY employee in the practice plays a very important role. Here are three tips to build up your team.

Recognize and encourage innovation. Keep open to new and unusual ideas that may come up from time to time in the office. Don’t be afraid to experiment with implementing some of these ideas, and celebrate the wins AND the failures. Recognize the team member publicly for going the extra mile.

Empower your employees. Nothing creates a greater sense of responsibility and ownership like having the power to make decisions. Don’t be afraid to let people be leaders. It’s a sure way to build trust between the Dr. and team.

Encourage learning. Challenge and support your team in learning and developing their skills. Not only will you enjoy greater success but you’ll see an increase in employee happiness and employee engagement.

Most organizations want to keep their employees satisfied. But it’s important to ensure that you “invest” time and energy in employees in positions who are less likely to see their work as “critical,” and are more likely to feel job insecurity and report burnout. They often have the most to benefit from efforts to enhance employee well-being.

You can learn more about leadership and other critical skills in a free online training event, “The All-Star Dental MBA.” Click here to learn more about the webinar and sign up for a time and date that works best for you.

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