Should you have a morning huddle/meeting?
The morning meeting is essential for a successful day. If you tried in the past to have a morning huddle and it didn’t work out… try again! However, this time, please follow some tried and true suggestions & tips. Every dental practice wants to produce more, collect more, stress less, have happy dentists and team members and consistently exceed patient expectations. Right? Well, effective morning huddles help to make those things a reality.
Remember this: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
When should the morning huddle start and for how long?
Fifteen – twenty minutes before the first scheduled patient. It should last no more than 10-15 minutes. Taking 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning to ensure the day starts off happy and productive is well worth it.
Who should attend the morning meeting?
Everyone. If scheduling prevents everyone from attending…at the very least the dentist(s), oral hygienist(s ), assistants and someone representing the administrative team. It is imperative for a team member to be assigned at every meeting to update the employee(s) not present of what was discussed/announced. No one should be left in the dark. This eliminates any “I didn’t know” or “no one told me!”
Who should lead the huddle?
Rotate team members to conduct the meeting and make certain that everyone stays on point and that the meeting ends and starts on time (appoint a time-keeper)! Dentists (lead by example) should be present at the start of the meeting and end each meeting on a positive note. Team members from each department can and should contribute what involves/affects their particular department.
What do you talk about?
Focus on: Today and Tomorrow and a little bit of yesterday 😉
START and END the meeting with something POSITIVE.
- Atta-boy/girl minute – What did we do “right” yesterday? How did we go the extra mile for a patient? Did you notice any team member that did something nice for a patient or another team member? Did anything happen yesterday that could be improved upon or avoided in the future? If yes, How?
- Gaps – Can a hygiene patient in need of restorative slide over into the dental chair? Is there anyone coming in with the dentist that is due in oral hygiene? If not, how will we remain productive during this downtime?
- Emergency scheduling – Where can we put the “true emergencies”?
- Potential trouble spots – Review schedule for any potential trouble/hiccups/hangups. Such as: dentist needed in multiple places at the same time, habitually late patient, co-payments that must be collected, difficult patient, etc. Do everything in your power to start, stay and end on time, exceed patient expectations and work together as a team for a smooth and happy day.
- New Patients / Referral Sources – Who are our new patients today and how did they hear about our practice? Everyone always be ready to warmly greet all patients but introduce yourselves to all new patients. And thank them for coming in.
- Pre-op calls – Any new patients coming in tomorrow or the next day that the dentist or oral hygienist can call and welcome?
- Same day services – Identify any patients that would benefit from same day services (fluoride, xrays, desensitising agents, whitening, mouthguards, better home care instruments)
- Post-op calls – Did we call yesterday’s patients to check in on them? Preferably the doctor and oral hygienist should make their own calls. (Who do you call? All new patients and any patients that had anesthetic, extraction or periodontics. Also, any patients that may have been overly fearful.
- Social Media – Who will help with that today? Ask patients to like the office (or check-in) on Facebook, follow on Twitter & Instagram. So many reasons throughout the day to post to your social media sites, such as: a patient brings in a treat, to welcome a new patient to the office, a child joined your kid’s club/team, celebrate a beautiful cosmetic restoration/teeth whitening, etc.
- Testimonials/Reviews – Who is a candidate for providing a testimonial/review? Be alert throughout the day to ask for testimonials/reviews. Especially when a patient compliments the practice on something… ask for a written or online testimonial. Take their picture (with permission) to post on your social media sites/website. NOTE: If a patient that is coming in for today has previously filled out an online survey be sure to review it. If they had a problem make certain it’s not repeated, if it was praise be sure to thank the team and the patient!
- Goals – Look at Production, Scheduling and Collection goals for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Reminder to collect all co-payments at time of appointment!!
- Treatment plans – Remember, offer the very best treatment options to your patients, let’s not “watch” or “wait until next visit” chances are it will only worsen. Let the patient decide for themselves! Were there any patients that came in yesterday that we treatment planned and they did not schedule an appointment? WHY?
- Conclusion – End the meeting on a positive note. Tell a funny joke, read a positive quote and/or thank your team. Watch a quick motivational, educational or funny video clip. This meeting sets the tone for the day… Make it a happy one! Let’s go change someone’s life or at the very least help them smile bigger and healthier!
A few additional tips for a successful morning huddle:
- Come prepared! Have ready copies of the schedule (today and tomorrow). Charts/treatment should be reviewed the day prior to the huddle. Be sure to have available your collection, scheduling and production goals for today and tomorrow and yesterday’s results.
- Stand for the meeting. This helps to keep the huddle on time and hold everyone’s attention.
- Maintain a positive attitude regarding the importance of DAILY morning meetings.
- Use a check-list! This will help you stay on time and cover all points.
- FOOD! Every once in a while surprise the team with bagels, donuts, coffee, muffins, etc.
It is strongly encourage that you implement daily morning huddles, simply because they’re effective and you will have happier, more productive and stress-free workdays!
If you already conduct morning huddles, way to go! Feel free to share any of your tips for successful morning huddles.
Should you need any help implementing these ideas or have any other questions that I can help you answer…I’m ready to help.
Huddle Up and Have a Great Day!
Yours for Greater Success!