The Three Expensive Mistakes of Staff Training That Are Costing You Millions…

I’ve had a considerable amount of discussion this week, both online and offline, about the role and roles of staff and staff training.

And whether I call it “staff” or I call it “team”, I’m talking about everybody else in the office except the owner.

And that could include the dentists, the hygienists, the front office personnel and the back office people.

Whether you’re staff or team, you’re there to be instructed by a higher authority within the business entity. You have to take direction from someone else.

And in a dental office therein lies a big problem. A huge problem.

Because in a lot of dental offices, there often are no systems of instruction and education and review of what exactly needs to be done.

In each role in the office.

Each and every time.

The key words in that sentence above are *systems* and *exactly*.

I’ve said it before and it won’t be the last time I ever say this.

In dentistry, for some weird and wonderful reason, there’s more often than not, a very, very common “tradition” or “acceptance”, that employees, be they back office team members, front office team members, doctors, or hygienists, there’s an acceptance that any and every team member has the right, or the authority to use their own personality or traits, or phrases or language whenever and wherever they want to or choose.

And they do.

Without any system of accountability or measurement or review, as to whether that role, that task that they’re paid to perform, is being performed to its best result, to its optimal best result, each and every time.

And that’s the tragedy of dentistry.

Because traditionally, in dentistry, because of its nature and its structure, as a small business enterprise, there are a large number of mistakes and hurdles that occur regularly in the hiring and training process.

Mistakes that just get carried on, throughout the industry, through the course of time.

Time after time after time.

Mistakes or errors in protocol and preparation that you would *NOT* take, tolerate or accept from your favourite sporting team.

No Way!!

But yet we accept and repeatedly continue to make these errors as we run our dental offices….


We Hire Fast.

The first and major error is we hire fast.

Too fast.

Way too fast.

Way too often.

And that’s often just because we are forced, as business owners, to accept the employment laws, and conditions, of the land.

An employee, in most nations, has the right to leave a position of employment at any time they choose with no recompense or penalty whatsoever.

Yet an employer has no right to act in the same manner.

None at all.

An employee, anywhere, can just decide at any moment they choose, to leave their employer, without any impost at all.

Without even a second’s notice.

Or a day’s notice.

Let alone a notice period of sufficient duration to allow the position to be properly advertised for, and interviewed for and trained for.

And that’s where we are backpedaling right from the get go.

The lot of us.

The whole team.

We’re trying to get on with business, the business of drilling and seeing patients, and all of a sudden we have to take time and spend time to correctly train the successful applicant into the exact roles and procedures and protocols that we require them to perform.

And it never quite gets done.


And so we have employees doing what they think they should be doing, or what they did at their last job, because they haven’t been shown exactly what to do here.

With us.

And sometimes, it’s because we don’t have a protocol or a system or systems of what we want exactly in our own businesses.

And we more often than not don’t have a system of review.

No system of review.

We don’t have a system of review.

A system of review and education and correction and retraining.

Of drilling *exactly* what we want performed and said and done each and every time until it has become second nature for that employee.

System of review?

That’s *NEVER* done.

And that’s crazy!

But it’s tolerated and accepted.

Because what the employee starts doing must have worked OK at their previous place of employment?

So we allow those behaviours to be done with us. We allow them to creep into this place of employment….

Our business…

And yet you wouldn’t tolerate that sort of scenario from your football team? Would you?

You wouldn’t let your football team go from match to match, week to week, without any or all of the proper and necessary training that they need to practice, and drill and rehearse repeatedly so that they can perform at their one hundred and fifty percent optimal level?

Week in week out?

No you wouldn’t!!

Because for your football team, each week begins with a review, a microscopic video review, of the previous week’s game.

What worked?

What worked well?

And what didn’t work?

And how can we prevent that from happening again?

What does the football team need to do, to practice, to prepare, before next game?

So that that weaknesses are mended!

So that that all moves are watertight…and performed like they have been performed for years!!

Education on the run.

Yet in dentistry, we train and educate on the run.

We make it up as we go along. We correct and educate in a piecemeal manner.

We don’t have regular daily reviews of specific plays from the last game?

We don’t have reviews at all most of the time.

And because of that lack of review, there’s a lack of or absence of formal education.

Every team has a different playbook.

Every football team has a different playbook.

And every dental office does too.

But we don’t train for that playbook.

We just toss our dental team members the football and let them go out onto the field and work it out for themselves…which is just so wrong…

And where else in business is it done as haphazardly as this?

And why?

Because it’s costing us millions!

It really is.

Not having a well structured and well instituted training and review system of everybody’s performance is only allowing your dental office to perform at a sub-optimal level.

And that, in the lifetime of a dental office, is costing your business millions.

And that’s crazy!!

Because a well drilled and repeatedly reviewed and well instituted training and education programme will only tighten and enhance the performance of your team.

And have them working at their optimal best.

So that every client, customer and patient gets handled and treated in only the best way each and every time.

So that every procedure, every clinical procedure, every office procedure, every customer service procedure, gets done and is performed upon and is improved upon as best it can be each and every time.

And that’s a win-win-win for everyone…


Improved hiring techniques and training techniques are part of  The Ultimate Patient Experience, a simple easy to implement system that I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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