6 Tips for Increasing Staff Performance

How to make sure your team is doing their very best.

Improving employee performance is an ongoing process. In a previous article, we talked about the reasons why continual training is essential—Staff Efficiency and Productivity, Staff Motivation and Ownership, and Staff Loyalty and Retention. But exactly how can your office achieve these goals with continual training?

A practice that stands out from the competition is usually comprised of a great team that works well together—a like-minded team of employees that work hard to achieve the practice goals.

So, how do we develop and nurture such a team to ensure stellar employee performance?

Most practices make the mistake of focusing on increasing production, and so they invest in means and systems to support performance results.

Unfortunately, many of these systems turn out to be time-consuming and impossible to implement into everyday work responsibilities.

Here are six ways that your practice can improve staff performance in order to meet those long-term growth goals.

1. Discover the Reasons Why

The first step is to discover why a staff member is not performing well, and it is important not to assume or jump to conclusions. Discuss your concerns with an open mind and positive attitude. Always ask open-ended questions and, more importantly, listen to the answers.

Remember that your ultimate goal is to determine the root of the problem, which will help you determine how to improve the staff member’s performance.

2. Encourage Communication

Staff members want to be involved in the success of the practice’s growth and want to play an important role in creating excellence. Encouraging communication among staff members, teams and even management is essential.

Awareness can be gained from employee input at staff meetings, team meetings, morning huddles or even a simple suggestion box. Again, being open-minded and uncritical of ideas helps encourage staff members to speak up and express their thoughts, which can sometimes be very insightful.

3. Establish a Positive Culture

The culture within your practice starts with the practice owner, and should be developed and encouraged in all staff members. The culture you create must be one in which all team members feel they are appreciated and valued.

Keep your door open, and always make sure your staff knows they can come to you with questions or ideas.

Remember, a happy staff is a productive staff.

4. Establish Continual Training Opportunities

Ongoing training is essential to practice success.

Staff can help improve their skills with virtual training that is available at their fingertips when they need it.

Learning is an ongoing process, and training should not be regarded as a one-time event, but rather a continual activity that happens over time.

You can successfully train your staff and improve their performance by taking advantage of technology which enables staff to learn anytime and anywhere with virtual training.

5. If It’s Not Fun—Don’t Do It!

Training doesn’t have to be boring, and, in fact, it should be fun! No one wants to sit in front of a speaker, a webinar or a training module that is boring and dull.

If you want to inspire change in behavior and adoption of new ideas for growth, the training you provide must be interesting, challenging and engaging.

Give your staff members the opportunity to learn and grow in their skills with a program that’s fun and entertaining, and they will grasp the knowledge twice as fast, as well as be excited about implementing it.

Some people don’t understand the necessity of training to be fun and entertaining. But the fact remains: if training is boring—regardless of the content—it will fail.

6. Recognize and Acknowledge Contributions

Everyone appreciates when they are recognized and acknowledged for their contributions and achievements. Use recognition as a means to reinforce the actions that will cause your practice to excel. This approach will give your employees the essential boost to help them be engaged, and it has a trickle-down effect that goes well beyond the individual.

Your recognition lets staff members know that you care about their contributions and accomplishments. It also demonstrates your dedication to creating an environment where they can succeed.

Through recognition and acknowledgement, you establish a culture that attracts and retains the best staff members.

In addition to these six tips, it’s also important to develop protocols for identifying and working toward practice goals.

Putting protocols in place will ensure that the team works effectively and efficiently towards achieving your practice goals. Like any practice policy, your employee training protocol should have clear guidelines in place that every team member has to follow.

Take advantage of the opportunities for virtual continual training for your staff. In doing so, you’ll be the catalyst to their success—and, ultimately, yours!

Laura Nelson

Laura Nelson, BS, MS, FAADOM is the founder and driving force behind Front Office Rocks, and the leading provider of on-demand virtual training and resources for dental practices.