When you hire new staff, do you train them on the job? Of course you do. When there is a new staff member on the team, that is the most effective way to train them as to your specific office protocols etc. But what if you find yourself in the position of having multiple new staff members? That is exactly the position that one of my clients found himself in recently. One staff member retired; another decided to go back to school; one moved; and one hygienist left to start her own business. That left him with two new hygienists and two new dental assistants within the space of a few months!
As this practice’s coach, I heard frustration from many quadrants when it came to how to train a whole new staff. Each new employee had a different background and level of experience. For instance, one of the dental assistants was a new grad and one had worked for many years at the same office and wanted a challenge and to advance her skills which had flat-lined.
Training has a cost attached to it. The time that a practice owner and other team members contribute to the training and development of new staff is high. We often don’t consider just what it costs when that time is taken away from other tasks.
The solution? My client and his experienced staff members (who were doing most of the training) hatched a plan to hold a Protocol Day. . Much work and preparation was done in the weeks prior to the day. Through some coaching as well as meeting together to identify the primary areas to focus upon, an agenda was created (along with slides and handouts). The office closed for a day and the entire team gathered for a jam-packed day of training. Time was spent on key protocols from Patient Experience and New Patient From Phone Call to Recall, then after a working lunch, to clinical protocols on sterilization, ordering/inventory, implant and other clinical protocols.
The cost was measured in loss of patients plus staff wages for the day. The benefits? I was there and I could see the light bulbs going on. Having the entire team present and all learning exactly the same thing was priceless. Time will tell to see how much was retained and will be applied – hopefully much of what was learned. What a fabulous and efficient way to train a new team! What a dedicated and proactive team to participate in a whole day of training! What a committed and engaged pair of experienced staff members who created such an efficient solution to a frustrating problem! Well done, Dr. San Mahara, and Downtown Dental Group in Nanaimo, BC!