Many dentists find it challenging to establish short-term and long-term goals for their practice and then have further difficulty communicating those goals to their team and staff members.
Learn the best way to set goals for your dental team and how to get your team members to work together smoothly to accomplish those goals and give patients the best dental health care possible.
What Are SMART Goals?
For any dental practice, setting realistic goals is an important part of engaging employees, encouraging motivation, and increasing productivity. When each team member knows exactly what they’re working towards, it becomes easier to accomplish those goals.
SMART stands for:
- S – Specific: The goal you set should be specific and clearly definable, not a general statement.
- M – Measurable: Instead of saying, “I want to talk to more potential patients,” you should say, “I want to increase the number of new patients by three per week.”
- A – Attainable: Nobody wins when you set goals that you and your staff simply can’t achieve. For example, you’re not going to improve your collection rate by 80% in three days.
- R – Realistic: The “realistic” factor also goes hand-in-hand with “attainable.” The goals you set for your practice must be realistic and possible for people to accomplish.
- T – Timely: You need a precise timeline for goals. We recommend setting a few short-term and long-term goals, like for each week, month, and year.
Common Obstacles to Avoid When Goal-Setting in a Dental Office
When you’re finally sitting down and brainstorming the goals you want to achieve for your practice, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid. Here are some great tips on what not to do when working with your team to set and reach goals:
- Don’t focus so narrowly on goals that your staff misses “the forest for the trees.”
- Be reasonable when setting goals for employees so as not to overwhelm them.
- Don’t create situations where ethics, morals, or safety could be in jeopardy to achieve goals.
- Don’t focus too intensely on goals that you forget to build a strong relationship with patients.
How to Measure and Evaluate Your Goals
Brainstorming and setting goals are only half the equation. Once you’ve got goals set and assigned to each staff member and the office as a whole, it’s time to consider how you’ll measure and evaluate progress. Here are a few tips and suggestions to streamline the process.
Consider Upgrading to More Efficient Communication
How strong is your dental office communication? By upgrading to technology like our Team Chat, you can improve internal communication between you and your staff, making it easier for them to collaborate and connect throughout the workday.
It’s just like texting, except you can choose between individual and group chats. Plus, there’s a mobile app so you can continue communicating using a mobile device for even greater convenience.
Use Analytics and Reporting
Do you remember how we said that a SMART goal must be measurable? One effective way to evaluate and benchmark progress is by using advanced analytics and data reporting. With our cutting-edge software for Metrics & Reporting, we take the unique goals of your dental practice and use that to provide you with data-driven results. We use practice management data and transform that into clinical opportunities, helping your dental office boost productivity and streamline your workday.
Reward Initiative and Achievements
Once your staff begins accomplishing their goals, it’s important for you to reward their contributions. Keep your eye out for members who show extra initiative or productivity. While it’s vital to encourage your staff along the way, once they finally achieve their goals, it’s time to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work.
Showing your staff appreciation and how much their contributions provide value toward the practice is an excellent way to foster stronger team bonding, improve team building skills, and increase employee engagement levels. When they feel their hard work is recognized, they’re more likely to put in extra effort and become more productive.
Let Dental Intelligence Help You Reach Your Goals
Don’t forget setting dental office goals requires you to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Dental Intelligence team. Schedule a demo today to see how our software can help you achieve your goals and intelligently shape the future of your practice.