We’re All in This Together – 4 Ways to Best Unite Your Team
You’ve probably been hearing this a lot: we’re all in this together. That’s because, as a unified force, we’re stronger. If altogether, we follow the same guidelines, we all stay at home more often, we wear a mask in public places, and maintain a six-foot distance, we will overcome this obstacle.
We have all seen what happens when we don’t stand together when ideas clash with the scientific community – chaos.
But we are united and, with the curve slowly flattening, we know that our efforts as a team are working.
Now, you can apply this concept to your practice and find out just how much easier teamwork makes running your clinic. Teamwork is when a group of people comes together to achieve a goal or set of goals. In the case of the pandemic, our goal is to flatten the curve and stop the spread.
But in your clinic, you have your own goal or set of goals to achieve. And with offices opening into this new normal, there are guidelines to follow and an entirely different set of goals to achieve, in addition to making sure your clinic is running smoothly and efficiently during this time.
So, here are 4 ways to best unite your team during this pandemic and achieve those goals.
Make Sure You, as Leaders, Stand United
The worst thing you can do in a time like this is to be divided on your ideas and your vision for the clinic. Division creates confusion, causes ideas to become skewed with other ideas, and drives down morale as no one is quite sure what is right and what is wrong. It also leaves a lot of work for you as leaders to answer questions and try to clarify your position.
In order to make sure your entire team is going to follow your lead, you have to be entirely certain the leaders that work with you are also standing united with you. Come together in a meeting, whether it’s by video conference or in-person, and discuss the new guidelines and how they need to be enforced to keep everyone, including your team, yourself, and your patients safe. Discuss how you, as a united front, are going to run the clinic and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Improve your communication strategy
Communication is key in any situation. This is never a statement I make lightly. If you were keeping your lines of communication open while your office was either only open for emergencies or the majority of your team was working from home, then you know how powerful a good line of communication can be in a situation like this.
Improving your communication within the clinic will strengthen teamwork in the office. Ensure that the administrative side is able to communicate efficiently with the clinical side. Ensure there are no barriers between the back and the front.
Also, it is doubly important that the team knows there is a line of communication to those in the lead. With these new guidelines in place now, everyone is going to have questions moving forward and you will need to be there to answer them.
This is also another reason why the leaders in the office need to stand united. The answers from one leader to the other should stay the same in order to avoid confusion and chaos in the office.
Share all information with the entire team
There is a lot to know and share when it comes to opening up your clinic while the pandemic rages on outside your door, and even though we are flattening that curve and cases are declining, it is with teamwork that we are going to be able to find some semblance of normal.
In order to do that, though, whatever information you have needs to be shared with the entire team, not just the leaders, not just the clinical side or the front staff, but everyone. It is simply too risky to keep anyone in the dark about certain rules or guidelines.
Never assume, for example, that everyone knows exactly what rules need to be enforced and how. Everyone has their own mind and their own ideas when it comes to rules and enforcing them. For you and your team to stand as a united front, everyone needs to be on the same page.
It might be prudent to send an email to ensure all rules and enforcement of those rules are followed.
Allow your team to share their ideas
Teamwork in any environment requires more than just a leader or leaders telling the team what to do. Teamwork is a two-way street, where leaders share ideas with their team, and the team shares ideas with their leaders. It is incumbent upon you as leaders to listen to your team, because whether they are the receptionist or the hygienist, Dentist, or Treatment Coordinator, their ideas are valid.
Most importantly, their ideas hold merit to their role in the clinic, and being willing to listen while they contribute will not only boost morale but will provide an insight that you might not have had.
Teamwork is what holds us together, as a company, as a city, as an entire world of people who just want to get on with their lives. We need each other to keep us all sane and moving forward, and we need to know we are all on the same page.
So, like I say every week, and with clinics opening all over the nation, we are only going to get through this as a team, a united front. As a team, we will not only overcome this new normal, but we will be safer for it.