For some ortho offices, the summer rush is winding down, while for others, the biggest month is just beginning. This is what we prep for all year, a summer schedule packed with patients getting braces! It calls for everyone to work harder, smarter and together. In the heat of it all, don’t get clouded by the hissing sound of suctions and forget to thank your team. Near the end of the summer madness, reserve time to reward and reflect.
Reward. There are many ways to express your appreciation to your team. Some offices share a fancy meal together, go on a trip, throw a party at the Doc’s house, partake in a shopping spree, or spend a day at the spa. Whatever your budget or team’s interest, make sure to incorporate a group activity. While a bonus check is ALWAYS appreciated by your team, that alone can back fire. Rather than providing a monetary thank you for the hard work, why not turn their focus towards thanks for working together? Without teamwork, a summer rush can be disastrous. Our favorite rewards have been team-building activities. You can typically find amusement venues that host group entertainment or team-bonding events. Nothing strengthens the team more than venturing out of the office together for some fun! We’ve all heard the saying, “Happy wife, happy life.” You get what we’re saying?
Reflect. Through all that fun, make sure to also take the time to reflect and review everything that happened this summer. It was crazy busy, so what kind of compromises or exceptions did we make during it? Did patient wait times increase? Did we have a lot of new patients or recalls that weren’t ready to start or couldn’t get in? Did we have too many or too little appliance removals? Or did a few of the team members drum up unnecessary conflict? Was the ship running strong or did we barely make it through? These are just a few questions to ask yourself so that next year runs even better. A couple of tips to consider for next summer:
· Make sure to shorten any New Patient Exams to 30 minutes that are not likely to be ready for treatment (i.e. a 6 year old or adult that hasn’t seen the dentist in 2 years) so as to keep room for the patients that are ready to get going.
· Throughout the year, try scheduling OBS appointments before or after summer.
· Keep the number of Debands down to a minimum. We know you love to see the look on your patient’s face when you to them they get their braces off before school starts, but be mindful not to bog down your schedule.
· It never hurts to surprise your team with doughnuts or breakfast burritos here and there throughout the summer to keep their energy up!
Long story short, the summer is undoubtedly a bit chaotic, but it is so productive for the orthodontic office! Take the time to show your gratitude towards your team and reflect together, so as to ensure that next year will be even better!