How effectively do you and your dental team utilize staff meetings? If your practice is like many, staff meetings sort of “happen” without much thought, leaving you and your team agreeing with the following quote by the actor William Shatner. “A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted.”
Fortunately, you can prevent the wasting of valuable time by first determining the objectives of the meeting. Start by asking yourself what you need to accomplish during the staff meeting for it to be successful. For example, you may want everyone to know their roles before, during, and after a consultation visit. Or you may want to adapt a specific protocol for past-due recall patients.
After you know your objectives, you can add items to the meeting agenda. Empower your dental team to contribute to the agenda and to come to meetings prepared to discuss potential solutions—meetings are much more than just gripe sessions. The more your team contributes to the agenda, the more ownership they will take with the performance of the practice.
An overlooked part of an agenda is the estimated time needed to cover each topic. If you spend too much time on one topic, the meeting bogs down quickly. If you are not able to cover a topic in the allotted time, decide as a group if you want to allocate more time or continue the discussion at a later date. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to park the discussion and give yourselves more time to consider potential solutions.
Effective staff meetings are possible if you plan appropriately. And your efforts will pay dividends in the form of stronger teamwork, improved communication, and ultimately better practice performance.