Endo Mastery

How to have fun in your practice

DR. ACE GOERIG

OWNER & CO-FOUNDER

For everyone, including you and your team members, the need to earn a living is a fact of life. You probably spend more time at work than any other single activity in your life, except for sleeping.

 

If your work environment is one that you are only enduring and not enjoying, it drains your energy. Creating a workplace in which enjoyment thrives alongside patient care and productivity is vital. Here are some ways to evolve your practice and team culture so that you are having fun every day:

Remove key stress factors

Fun in the practice takes its cues from you as the practice owner. If you are sullen and gloomy because of stress, your team culture is going to reflect your negative energy. By far, the top stress factors for many endodontists are persistent financial stress and unbalanced time stress. Both factors are particularly poisonous because they affect more than just your practice; you carry that stress into your family life as well.

 

Removing financial stress, such as debt and cashflow concerns, and restoring work-life balance are primarily achieved by increasing practice profitability. That often means making a strategic decision to invest in team-driven growth at a time when your “stress brain” is telling you to resist change, pull back, and batten down the hatches. You are usually your own worst counsellor in this situation, and it’s best to rely on an expert coach.

Hire for attitude

Having fun is a lot easier when you are working with team members who have the right attitude, are team focused, and have a personality that contributes to office harmony and enjoyment. When the hiring market is so competitive and in-depth training is a necessity regardless of who you find, hire people with the right attitude. Similarly, sometimes you need to fire for attitude. If someone on your team is consistently creating issues and toxic drama for you and everyone else, it’s time to move them on.

Praise and celebrate

I can tell you without a doubt that every person on your team appreciates recognition and praise. As often as you can, regularly provide genuine praise to each and every team member. It doesn’t have to be showy. In fact, it’s best as a one-on-one personalized moment that enhances your professional relationship and creates an uplifting positive vibe for your team member.

  

Equally important are celebrations, which should be something the whole team can enjoy. Every day, the team should celebrate something. It can be personal milestones like birthdays or employment anniversaries. It can be special events like holidays. It can be celebrating a new referrer, hitting a productivity goal, or any number of practice-related factors. The point is to create a feel-good moment that unites everyone.

Lead by example

As the doctor, you set the tone for the team. If you are making an effort to enjoy every day, and you try to help your team enjoy every day too, the team will follow your lead. If you’re always smiling, your team members will be smiling. If you share funny stories or good-natured jokes, your team will also. It’s an infectious process and you are the primary carrier.

  

Your leadership is especially important when things aren’t perfect. “Stuff happens” and you’ve got to separate how you may feel in the moment from how your team needs to be led by you. By all means, if the moment requires corrective action, then take it. But for the little, inconsequential, inadvertent or accidental things, shake it off with a laugh that puts everyone at ease.

Provide vision and motivation

Don’t underestimate the importance of giving your team a vision. Shared effort and achievement around goals enhances team unity and strengthens interpersonal bonds. Teams that know how to work together to conquer goals are teams that can enjoy each other and have fun together. A strong guiding vision also prevents distractions (such as personal issues or gossip) from interfering with teamwork.

  

Connected with your vision and goals can be motivation tools such as a team bonus system. A bonus system should be a meaningful opportunity for the team to take part in the practice’s growth and success. It “gamifies” the practice’s goals and creates a fun focal point around which team celebrations can occur. A great bonus system creates the opportunity for daily celebrations. 

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success."

MARKETING TIP: BRAND STICKERS

Consistent use of your logo helps build brand recognition and keep your practice top-of-mind by referring doctors and their teams. The more people see your logo, they more they will remember you. 

 

Marketing coordinators should have a supply of logo and endo-themed items that can be given to (or included in anything mailed to) a referrer office. Stickers are a great and easy way to customize any pop-by marketing gift and give a touch of professional branding to anything you do. There are lots of options and you can check out the website below to spark your ideas!

Maximizing the monthly referral analysis meeting

DEBRA MILLER

DIRECTOR OF COACHING

Referrals account for practically all productivity in an endodontic practice. Referral analysis and keeping track of referring doctor relationships is core business requirement. Here are some tips on what your referral analysis should include, and key factors you should focus on during your monthly referral meeting with your marketing coordinator.

Referral activity and history

For each referrer, list their referral activity. This includes the total number of referrals for the last 2 completed calendar years, the total number of referrals year-to-date for the current calendar year, and the number of referrals each month in the current calendar year. 

 

Sort your list by the number of referrals year-to-date for the current calendar year in descending order. That will give you overview of your top referrers at the top of the list and your least frequent referrers at the bottom of the list.

Referrer category

Assign categories to each referrer based on their year-to-date referral activity:

  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    “A+” send at least 2 cases per month on average (24+ per year).
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    “A” send at least 1 case per month on average (12+ per year).
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    “B” send fewer than 1 case per month on average but greater than 1 case every 3 months (5 to 11 cases per year).
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    “C” send 1 case or fewer per quarter (Up to 4 per year).

Referral pattern analysis

Assign categories to each referrer based on their year-to-date referral activity:

  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Has there been a change in the top 10 referrers between this month’s analysis and last month’s analysis? Who has moved up and who has dropped down?
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Based on year-to-date data, have any category shifts occurred? This would include A, B and C doctors shifting up to A+, A or B as a positive shift. It would also include A+, A and B referrers shifting down to A, B or C as a negative shift.
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Based on the last two months of referrals, which doctors are exceeding or falling short of their overall category. For example, an A referrer (1+ case per month typically) who has sent 4 cases in the last 2 months (equivalent to an A+ referrer) is exceeding their category. Likewise, an A referrer who hasn’t referred even once in two months is falling short.
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Based on year-to-date data, which doctors are ahead or behind trend compared to the number of referrals they referred last year? For example, a doctor who sent 6 cases last year (once every 2 months, or 0.5 cases per month on average) who has sent 4 cases by the end of June this year is trending ahead of last year (but still in the B category like last year).
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Are there any new referrers who sent their first case ever in the last month? Are there any referrers who have been lost (retirement, transition to corporate, etc.)?

Target doctors

The referral pattern analysis finds GPs who require marketing attention with a targeted strategy. Both negative and positive patterns need to be addressed.

 

Certainly, any doctor who is dropping down in category, falling short in their referrals in the last two months, or behind the trend of their own referrals from last year should be visited by your marketing coordinator. Something is happening and the sooner you know, the sooner you can take steps to correct it. For example:

  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Has there been a change in the GP practice?
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Are they sending cases to a different endodontist and why?
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Do they have a patient or service concern specifically with your practice?

Likewise, positive patterns need to be reinforced. Doctors who have shifted up in categories, are referring more than they usually do, and new referrers should all be discussed individually, and a strategy chosen. For example: 

  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Referrers who should receive a personal doctor-to-doctor call of gratitude and appreciation from you, or an invitation from you to meet face-to-face (lunch, over-the-shoulder, social activity).
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Referrers who should receive an immediate visit from the marketing coordinator. For example, new referrers.
  • Brand color bullet-smaller
    Referrers who should receive more frequent visits from the marketing coordinator. For example, a B referrer who your marketing coordinator would normally visit once per quarter who should now be visited monthly to try to extend the new positive trend.

In addition to the target doctors found each month through positive and negative trending, your marketing coordinator should also select 5 referrers in the B or C category for a 3-month focus campaign. Visit these doctors monthly as if they were A referrers, offering pop-by gifts and other surprises, and then watch if their referral patterns shift.

SIGN UP

Sign up to receive helpful practice management tips, debt elimination ideas, how to re-energizing your team, and much more.