Establishing a People – Focused and Coaching – Centered Business Culture

If you are concerned about turnover in your office, you should be.  An estimated 42 million employees will leave their jobs in 2018, according to a Work Institute’s 2018 Retention Report.


The top reason employees gave for leaving was a lack of opportunity to learn or develop skills. In fact, the July 2018 federal job report noted that 3.6 million employees left their jobs in June.  While employees are not necessarily leaving for pay-related reasons, they are getting an average salary increase of 15% at their new jobs.


What does this mean to your dental business?  The job market is very tight right now and finding quality candidates is difficult.  One lesson you can learn from this data is that your focus should be on developing your employees and focusing on your people.  


Many business owners believe that the business comes before the people.  Wrong! The people are the business. Richard Branson said, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”  Another leader said, “If you exceed the expectations of your employees, they will consistently exceed the expectations of your customers.”


Great business owners are people-focused.  They recognize that employees are the core of the business.  The results they are seeking can only be achieved through the people.  “I have learned that people will work harder for you if they know you care about and respect them”.


A people-focused culture starts with coaching.   Coaching-centered leadership is established by focusing on how to ask your employees catalytic questions, to listen and to assist employees to develop better solutions to challenges and opportunities.  The act of helping others benefits you.


My most successful clients understand how each team member wants and needs to be coached. Whether they coach many or simply coach a few who coach others, they “get” how much smoother their business runs in a people-focused culture.  They recognize and reward activities and behaviors that lead to the desired outcome. They provide feedback and counseling when those behaviors and actions are absent. They ask questions such as “What are you doing well and why is it working?” or “What can you do better and how will you do it?” And they follow up with “How will I know you did it?”  Holding people accountable for making changes by making them responsible for keeping leadership a


Learn to listen to your people.  Listening leads to better solutions.  When a leader opens up and listens to other’s perspectives, it builds trust.  They demonstrate that they can be influenced and allow others to participate in the decision-making process.  Team members may not always get a vote in your organization, but there is power in opening the door for them to have a voice. If you want to successfully bring other team members in to your organization then make your veteran team members an active part of the process. This is one of the biggest mistakes we see in most dental offices. This isn’t a call for allowing your team to make hiring decisions, but if you make them a productive part of the onboarding process I promise you will see an increase in teamwork and a decrease in turnover.

Establishing a people-focused and coaching-centered culture requires hard work.  It starts with the leadership living and modeling the way. If you choose to follow this path, you will find an increase in production, revenue and retention! More importantly, you will create a culture and climate of awesomeness and an amazing competitive advantage. Now, go be people focused and everyone wins!

“Train people well enough so they can leave.  Treat them well enough so they don’t want to” –  Richard Branson.

Randa is the owner and President of Pinnacle Leadership Academy, Inc., a highly respected dental consulting, training and coaching firm. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of Dental Team Finder LLC, a leading dental recruiting company. She speaks both nationally and internationally on many topics related to the business of dentistry. She has published articles in Contemporary Esthetics, Dental Economics, The AADOM and Dental Mentor magazines.