What’s your biggest headache?

No, let me guess. Staff.

Am I right?

Most business owners say staff are one of their biggest stressors.

Now, let me ask you another question.

Are you doing dentistry by day and running your business at night? If so, it’s a clear indication of a problem.

Maybe you don’t have enough team members so you’re taking on work you should have delegated.

Maybe you don’t have the right team in place to delegates tasks effectively.

Maybe there are no clear lines of responsibility, and team members don’t know their duties or who they report to.

Whatever it is, the end result is that you spend time on low-value activities.

And here’s something that no one else will tell you. Success in business is a team sport.

There is not a business of any kind that’s achieved success on any scale without a team – and that’s because no one can do it all themselves.

Building a great team is essential for any business to perform at its highest level, particularly if you want to scale.

The importance of building a winning team and having the right infrastructure in place is not only fundamental, it’s critical.

But here’s the problem. Most dentists make a number of mistakes when they’re building their team.

When I’m working with clients I see five big mistakes that practice owners make. They’re common, but they’re also curable.

Let’s take a look at those mistakes and how to fix them.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Building An Elite Team

1.                Recruiting In Desperation

When you recruit in desperation you’re forced to take the best candidate at the time – even if they’re not a good fit for your practice.

I’m not saying you should have surplus employees sitting around. Of course not. What I’m saying is that you need to have a ‘pipeline’ for people coming through.

2.                Remunerating Poorly

The old saying ‘pay peanuts and get monkeys’ has some truth to it. While it’s not the sole motivator for attracting and retaining a great team, money is still highly important.

Staff need to be adequately remunerated or they will look for other opportunities. It helps to do a little research so you know what the award wage is as well as what the market is currently paying.

3.                Failing To Cross-Train

Training your team is critical, but so is cross-training. It’s essential you have understudies for each role.

In small teams, cross-training people means your team is flexible and adaptable. Everyone is able to fulfil other tasks.

In larger teams, it means having a succession plan in place in the event of someone leaving.

With an effective pipeline in place, your practice is able to minimise the disruption when team members leave or go on holidays. You’re also able to maintain a high level of productivity and in turn, profitability.

4.                Refusing To Dream

You need to have a dream. A specific dream that includes a clear idea of what your dream organisation will look like.

As your practice grows, knowing the ‘big picture’ is vital.

Along the way, there will be various transition organisational charts, meaning your team will grow incrementally. But to grow successfully the organisational chart – even if it’s an interim one – must be mapped out ahead of time so recruitment can occur systematically.

5.                Declining To Lead

There are many great teams that are self-reliant and self-regulating. However, in the absence of leadership, chaos can descend over the team, limiting their ability to perform well and disrupting their potential.

In order to not only survive but thrive, your dental practice needs a strong and dependable leader. A high-performing and elite team will never survive without a strong and dependable leader.

So, if you want your practice to reach its maximum potential, you must be willing to develop your leadership skills.


So now you know the biggest mistakes practice owners make you’re probably wondering how to build a successful team.

I’m so glad you asked. 😉  Here’s how to build an elite team.


5 Steps To Building A Great Team

1.                Recruit Systematically

Have a systematic approach to recruiting ‘A-players’.

Ensure these A-players are not only skilful but represent a good fit for the business. To do this you will need to develop a series of checklists, cheat sheets, and processes.

2.                On-board Effectively

Ensure a frictionless method of onboarding new team members.

For this to occur, employment structures – including contracts, enterprise agreements or other legal instruments – need to be in place. It’s also imperative the new team member has a job description, expectation, and key performance indicator.

3.                Organising Your Team

Devise an organisational chart of your current team and one for your ‘ideal practice’ team.

If necessary, have interim organisational charts. Each of these charts should include clear lines of responsibility and accountability.

4.                Develop Your People

Have staff development systems in place that include regular performance management.

These should also include training programs and processes, and tie into the pipeline of team members necessary to create understudies for each role within the practice.

5.                Communicate Successfully

Ensure a tight communication system. By that I mean that it’s essential there is a systematic approach within the practice, ensuring team communications are held daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

Make sure nothing is left to chance because that’s when problems occur, the team fails to live up to its potential, and the business as a whole suffers.


Build An Elite Team

You don’t have to suffer from staffing headaches any longer

You don’t have to do dentistry by day while running your business at night.

Instead, you can do business the smart way. You can create systems for hiring and onboarding your team.

You can cross-train your people so you have a flexible, adaptable league of people – ready for anything.

And you can be the strong, dependable manager, leading your team to success.

This doesn’t have to be a dream. It can become your reality.

All you need to do is take action.

So what are you waiting for? There’s no time like the present – start now. Remember:

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. — Zig Ziglar