Recently I completed a series of lectures to dental hygiene students which blended a lot of preparation for their national board exam with a little bit of practical advice. It surprised me that, after a long weekend of instruction, several asked what they could do to become desirable employees. Here’s what I shared
1. Attitude is everything! Skills can be learned, but a positive, energetic, “can-do” attitude is infectious, and always a positive trait.
2. Demand clear job descriptions from your employer! One can only excel when one knows precisely what it is that is expected each day.
3. Insist upon adequate training. Many practices lack on-site training assets specific to an employee’s needs. To be effective, a new team member must have knowledge of office policies and protocols, management and infection control systems, and verbal skills and software training at the very least.
4. Be a “stakeholder,” not an employee! Stakeholders know their responsibilities, act without being asked, serve as leaders in the practice, and confidently “own” the results of their work.
5. Create relationships with your patients over time through compassionate but thorough care and education. Doing so builds trust and long-term retention.
6. Support your coworkers selflessly. Ask your teammates how you can help them anytime your primary responsibilities are complete.
7. Just say “no” to gossip!! Speaking ill of one another behind one’s back is both unprofessional and destructive! Howard Farran of Dentaltown fame, calls it “misdirected venting.” Walk away from poisonous conversations.
Start your day with a smile on your face and energy in your step that will make people take notice. Keep that positive attitude and spirit throughout your day, and choose to make each a fantastic one. Trust me, you’ll be desirable!
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