Cell or Sell: How Devoted is Your Team?

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We recently presented to a group of dentists who asked the ever-frequent question, "What's your policy on cell phone use in the office?". This is a conundrum faced across the workforce, but in a healthcare setting we believe in one simple solution.  Here's why:

In a successful dental practice, each day is an elite mix of experts in their respective areas coming together to provide excellent service and care to their patients. We must do everything in our ability to present ourselves in a positive way at all touch points.

Selling ourselves as Elite Professionals requires conscious effort and commitment to office culture. Why do we do what we do? What level of care is our entire team committed to providing? How does our team convene to embrace our patients and the day? And most importantly, are we all focused and onboard?

For a moment, think of a world class sports team. Their practice is rigorous, consistent and focused. The reason is clear! In order to be the best of the best and deliver a winning game, every single player must maintain crystal clear focus on his or her role within the team.

An elite dental team of is no different. We work hard taking ownership of the practice culture and the treatment delivered to our patients. We duck and weave through our busy days like limber athletes passing off to the next team mate when the time is right. We’re all here to back up a team mate who fumbled in the midst of a well played game. That's what team players do!

Have you ever seen a professional athlete on the sidelines texting or checking FB? Of course not! It’s unacceptable for the rest of the team to have to bear the burden of those whose focus is not on the game.

Our team visits offices where we often see employees burning valuable patient time sending the next text or checking the latest FB update. In fact, I recently watched a hygienist duck into her op to send text messages while her patient was waiting in the reception room!

Here is a simple and respectful Office Cell Phone Policy:

Personal cell phone use has no place in a dental practice.

Cell phone use during business hours presents a disregard of patient time and of the dental business.  They are a disruption to success.

  1. Cell phones are to be secured in your car or a locker during working hours

  2. They are not to be on your person at any time during patient hours

  3. Employees may give the office phone number to friends or family who would need to reach any employee in an emergency situation and they will be notified immediately by the office team member who takes the call.

  4. Personal cell phones may be used during breaks.

Thank you for your dedication to our office, your team and our patients 

We have found that the doctors of often unaware of the blatant disregard of useful business hours that are spent by their employee cell phone use.  Studies have shown that 61% of workers waste 30-60 minutes on their cell phones while on the clock.  Biggest culprits? You guessed it...Google and Facebook.  What's most interesting is when we interview individual employees around the country there are those that do and those that do not.  Every single one of the employees who claimed they do not use their cell phone's while on the clock, felt frustration and animosity towards their co-workers.  

In an environment where we work closely with one another, and among many different personality and behavior types, the simple solution above can help dilute office stress and maintain the high level of patient care and service we strive to provide.