While staff conflict will never completely go away, there are steps you can take to significantly reduce it in your practice—and it all comes down to offering team members the proper guidance.
If team members don’t have clear direction from you, the practice CEO, chances are they won’t really know what they’re responsible for and what their co-works should handle. That lack of clarity, of course, leads to conflict. Here are tips to help ensure you give employees the guidance they crave, reducing conflict and allowing them to excel in their roles.
Create detailed job descriptions. Job descriptions serve as a road map to success for your employees. They outline exactly what they’re responsible for, your expectations and performance measurements. Without job descriptions employees feel lost. They’re left to guess what their role entails, and that could lead to frustration and power struggles as they try to figure it out. Job descriptions leave no doubt who is responsible for what. Once you develop these all-important job descriptions, share them with every team member.
Provide proper training. All too often, dentists bring a new team member on and opt to skip training, especially if that new employee has worked in a dental office before. This might save you some time up front, but trust me, it will lead to plenty of frustration, lost revenue and conflict later. After a while, more seasoned team members might start to feel like they spend a lot of time explaining things to the new hire, or fixing things he’s done wrong. They start to resent the employee and gossip about how he isn’t pulling his weight. This can be avoided if you provide proper training from the beginning.
Hold team members accountable. Team members should know exactly which systems they’re accountable for and update you on those systems once a month. During these monthly meetings, work as a team to find ways to make any necessary improvements. This will not only help keep everyone on the same page, avoiding conflict, it will also go a long way in strengthening your systems.
Staff conflict, if ignored, can lead to thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Do what you can to avoid it, but also take the necessary steps to squash it right away. This will bring harmony back to your team while also growing your bottom line.