Working Through Change

June 15, 2020

Working Through Change

CHANGE! AHHH! I always think of Kevin from Home Alone with his hands on his face, screaming in the mirror. Yes, very few like to hear the word, “Change”. ESPECIALLY during these times of uncertainty. Change can be scary for most people.  When you have worked for an office, or on a team for so long, you adapt to processes and personalities. The last thing we want to hear is “We are going to CHANGE the way we do things.”

Lets discuss a few tips on how we can effectively and confidently implement changes within the dental dental practice management system.

1st-What we know…..

What we know is people are afraid of change.

2nd-What can we do?

So, What can we do to get our team onboard?

Successful change consists of Awareness, Buy-In, Skills, Desire, Proper Resources and an Action Plan. In order to achieve the necessary change we are looking for, we must have all of those in place. Or else…..

Awareness-How do we keep our team aware?

I would like to stop right here and remind ourselves of what we ARE in control of: Our Communication Skills. I do not believe there is such a thing as over communicating in a dental office. With all the daily whirlwind, we just cant seem to communicate enough!

Keep your team in the know. We discussed in another blog about regular team meetings. IF you are not currently having these, I highly recommend them! They are a NECESSITY! In our team meetings it is important to be transparent. I don't mean you have to disclose your yearly income to the team:) However, you can be very open on what you are working on, and what is in the pipeline. Let them know. Your team is SUPER creative, and may just have that one tidbit of advice that may shoot your dreams into another world! J/K, but you know what I mean! Utilize the knowledge that they have, and keep them involved!

Buy-In What if our team doesn’t have the buy-in.

One thing I have learned over the years from my time in the office on different levels is: What was good for the team yesterday, may not be good for the team today. This was very powerful.  Some of you will be growing and adding offices, so keep that in mind. I'm not saying go out and let your team go if you are expanding, but think clearly about where you are going, and who is going to be onboard for the new look.  

When implementing new systems, or programs within your office, there will always be that team member that will drag their feet.  Why do we have to do this? What we were doing before was working just fine.  I don’t want to change. Its not going to work”.  We have heard all of these, right?!? Get a COMMITMENT from your team.  Example: Implementing end of day checklists into your office. Ask your team to give you 4-8 weeks of a commitment to completing their end of day checklist.  See how it goes. Schedule a follow up meeting and let the team be open about their thoughts.  If the team member creates it, the team member will own it. Let the team make their own checklists. The dentist can edit/add/delete and follow up.  This creates buy-in. Your team member is now in control of her own end of day tasks that SHE created. I'm telling you...IT WORKS!

Always stay positive when discussing these changes with your team.  Its easy to say, “You're right, we really don’t need them.” Instead try “You know what? Lets try these for the next month, every day and see how it goes.” YOU are listening to your team!!


One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my dental career was not having the skills needed for the position I was given. You guys, this happens EVERYDAY! There was no doubt I was capable of teaching myself, but how?

Going from a Dental Hygienist to Office Manager was the biggest change for me. I quickly realized, I need to learn, and learn QUICK, and develop better skills in order to be an effective leader in my office.

When we roll out an on-boarding process, hiring process, or simply a new third party dental software we are using, they don’t always come with the best training. It is our responsibility as a leader in the practice to learn those skills needed to implement, or find our right hand man to learn the skills needed, in order to reach successful implementation.

Set your team up for success! NO ONE likes to fail! Figure out how you are going to learn and teach the skills necessary for the changes taking place. That could even be an assistant in your office teaching the maintenance program you have set up.  OR creating the program, learning herself, then teaching the team what maintenance should be completed, and when.



Action Plan

- Kellie Black, RDH

Disclaimer: This article is the sole opinion and research of the writer and doesn’t reflect the opinions of ZenSupplies.

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