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CREATING TEAM COHESION IN A MULTI-LOCATION PRACTICE
Building a united orthodontic team can be challenging, even when you have all your employees together under one roof. If your team is spread out across multiple office locations, that challenge is even greater. While creating a cohesive culture and a sense of community across multiple locations may seem daunting, it’s by no means impossible and the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Bringing team members together in person from different locations does require significant effort. When this is accomplished, it allows for necessary relationship-building and helps geographically dispersed teams get to know one another, bridge communication gaps, and unite in more effective ways. There is tremendous value in offsite team meetings, allowing staff to collaborate, get to know one another, exchange ideas in real-time, and move forward in positive ways outside of a standard work environment where they might feel stifled by their day-to-day duties. While the expense can be substantial for a large orthodontic team, the investment in team-building meetings always pays off with increased morale and higher performance rates among staff. Consider bringing your team together in creative ways to spark interest and increase buy-in. Schedule an offsite workshop event with team-building activities and never be afraid to incorporate fun into your game plan! These activities are most successful when held somewhere other than in your office lunchroom. Creating or utilizing a venue outside of their normal work environment will encourage staff to have fun, get creative, socialize, and align in terms of office values and culture. To increase engagement and ensure staff participation and buy-in, be sure to nurture your team before, during, and after the event. It’s not enough to get your team excited a week in advance, then put engagement on the back burner. Create hype and excitement around upcoming workshops. Encourage your staff to do the same! Prior to setting an official agenda, check in with each employee individually to find out what they want to get out of the day. Ask for input. Let your staff be heard! Take a few minutes to sit and review the final agenda with them, and note the activities and ways that they are aligned with both their individual goals and those of the practice as a whole. When everyone has a voice and is working toward the same end result, you’ll not only have a financially healthier practice, you’ll also have happier employees and patients. These opportunities are a gift to your staff. When you allow your team to socialize, celebrate, and simply unwind, you make it easier for them to forge meaningful relationships. Those relationships help to ensure your office culture is consistent throughout multiple locations. Community, collaboration, and unity are always at the heart of all successful teams. Give yours the gift and watch them grow.
"All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine" - Jim Rohn
In light of recently losing a very dear, lifelong friend of mine, I started thinking about what kind of legacy we create for ourselves. This is as important professionally as it is personally. We must build, develop, and grow in-depth, genuine and inspiring relationships. Your daily interactions with others will do more “speaking” than anything you actually say. Are you serving others; bringing the best out of everyone around you? If not, I challenge you to evaluate the legacy YOU are creating!
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