The new era of internal customers: keeping and satisfying your best employees

In service-providing industries like orthodontic practices, the patient is not the only customer you need to appease. Internal customers like your employees and staff play just as pivotal a role in streamlining your practice and cashing in profits. From a leader’s point of view, you may think of a million attributes that are important to keep your employees satisfied.

However, studies show that for employees, meaningful and challenging work is in the foreground. In order to meet this vantage point, you as a leader must create conditions in your practice that are favorable to employee growth and development. Employees need the right environment to do their job well. This includes:

  • Right targets that are verifiable
  • Your trust to solve problems independently
  • Your valuable feedback as to whether they are doing their job properly.
  • Adequate attention and appreciation

How can you keep your employees satisfied?

Working together or as a team is a winning formula to keep your employees satisfied. Instead of allowing free-range values in your work system, you must orchestrate set principles that promote success and prevent the subversion of disarray in the long term.

Be a good role model

There needs to be a well-distinguished hierarchy in your practice. However, this does not mean that the same rules that your staff abides by do not apply to you. What good is it if an employee religiously adheres to the plan only for the dentist or overlooking staff to completely avoid protocol? This behavior shows a lack of appreciation and can completely torpedo a lean system.

It is important for the manager of an orthodontic practice to live by the same values that he has set for dealing with patients towards his staff and colleagues, i.e. no disorientation, no loss of control. This can be achieved through standardized, reproducible, and foolproof procedures.

Employee satisfaction is closely linked to motivation. Increase one and the other follows automatically. Motivation also results from the fact that I see positive changes through compliance with lean procedures and really experience the advantage of it.

If, for example, we have a lot of bracket losses, then everyone is annoyed because it attracts negative attention and means additional work. Everyone is dissatisfied. If we then systematically take measures that lead to bracket losses being reduced or even stopped altogether, we can be proud of it.

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