How To Motivate Your Dental Team

Having a motivated dental team goes a long way in determining the quality of service that your patients will experience. Regardless of whether you have a huge practice or you are still starting out, this article will help motivate your dental team taking your practice to the next level.

How to motivate your dental team:

1. Be particular when hiring

To have a team that is motivated they must first be able to work well with you and the rest of the team. As a dentist, your time is limited so you need to hire a team of productive individuals. This means you will need to hire individuals that can run the practice while you are otherwise occupied.

Hiring in haste will have you filling a position more than once. This constant hiring and firing does not work well for team morale and motivation as job security is questioned.

For this, we`d recommend you engage a hiring officer who will go through applications and conduct strategic interviews that help you get the best candidate for the job. Better still we would tell you to entrust recruitment to an outsourcing firm. With this option, you enjoy qualified personnel that will work at a lower cost.

3. Encourage teamwork at all times

Bad days in the practice are inevitable, cancellations can be high sometimes, and morale usually goes down. However, asking questions like;

  • “I noticed we’ve had cancellations and I can tell some of you are having a bit of difficulty. What problems are we facing?
  • What do you need help with? Let’s pull together to make our target by the end of the day!”

This helps your staff help one another and be empowered to getting out of any situation. This creates a team that is able to work together and trust one another to work beyond normal expectations.

4. Provide them with the right tools

Motivation goes beyond simple words. Imagine assistants battling with glitch x-ray processing machines or a hygienist operating leaky machinery. This frustration will have any professional dreading the next patient that walks into the practice. Providing functional and up to date tech boost morale in a big way.

5. Communication is key

You may know exactly what you need to run a successful practice but your team does not. Communicate your long term plans and the direction you want your practice to take.

Welcome ideas and suggestions from staff members. This makes them feel valued and you get a productive point of view that can help you take your practice down a more productive path.

6. Measure performance

Any measure of performance is needed to know if you are being productive or not. Your staff also needs to know whether they are doing a good job or not. A consistent measure means;

  1. Employees get to know exactly where they need to improve and what they need to work on.
  2. You as the employer get to see if your employee is performing well.
  3. You can identify the weak links in your practice.
  4. As a practice owner, you can innovate and improve workers’ conditions to have better results.
  5. Motivates a better work ethic and determination from the staff.

7. Do not be bossy

Give out responsibilities, not orders. When a team member is made responsible for something it makes them know and feel that they are part of something important. They feel less so if you dictate what they are to do and how they are to do it.

That being said there is a need to make sure that the workload is spread out among the team. You don’t want to have the entire workload being put on the shoulders of one or two employees.

8. Be flexible

Regardless of how innovative you are, there is always room for improvement. As a practice owner, you must be open to new ideas to innovate even further always. Incorporate your team in decision making and enjoy a wider variety of ideas apart from your own.

This will not only motivate your dental team but gives them a sense of ownership and unity of purpose.

9. Hold regular staff meetings

The ideal setup would be to have weekly meetings where the entire staff comes in. Make it a little less formal and make sure you pick a day and time where you are less likely to be interrupted. Also, ensure it is a time where staff aren’t distracted by pending patients or tasks.

These meetings help;

  • Update everybody on your progress towards achieving goals.
  • Share what each person is working on and any participation they need from the group.
  • Address issues or problems that have cropped up and changes or policies that should be made.

Keep the team on track and motivated as it is an affirmation that they are on the right track and their work is being recognized.

10. Do not overwork your team

As the practice gets in full swing practitioners tend to forgo breaks like lunch or general knock off time. While working late once in a while is ok it shouldn’t become common. Is time is not managed it will wear down your team and kill moral of the whole practice. Make regular adjustments were needed to give your team plenty of rest.

If your team is constantly overwhelmed, you should consider outsourcing virtual team members to handle tasks such as insurance verification.

11. Recreational and team building activities

Work should not be monotonous. Take the time to get to know your team members on a personal level and get them to know you. Have your team get out of the practice at least once a month for team building. It can be anything from dinner, bowling or a trip to the spa. This can have an impact on the motivation and productivity of team members.


As a practice owner, you also wear the hat of the leader. It is your job to ensure that the tone of the office encourages productivity and openness among your team members. Always try to motivate your dental team.

SupportDDS is a leading Texas-based insourcing company that provides virtual assistants and administrative support for dental practices. Moreover, we provide both short and long term virtual insourcing services customized to suit your business process needs.

Contact us today