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Best practices for dental staff meetings

Staff meetings are a valuable tool to keep everyone informed and up to date and foster a stronger team environment through feedback, the sharing of ideas and an opportunity to ask questions. Here are some tips to get the most out of staff meetings at your practice.

Meetings should be brief but frequent

Don’t wait until you have a long laundry list of information to cover before setting a meeting. Instead, schedule regular meetings and make them part of your normal routine. Most practices hold meetings once a month or every other week, with some offices meeting every week. 

Drive value through an effective agenda

Meetings without a specific agenda will invariably get off track. Order the specific points you wish to cover and then move on down the list. Provide time at the end for general feedback but discourage staff from veering away from the agenda.

Topics that should be considered for every meeting include:

  • Review the minutes from the last meeting
  • Discuss the current performance of the group, using statistics to highlight what you’re doing well and where you need to improve
  • Set a specific goal you’d like to meet before the next meeting and talk about how well you met the goal set in the previous meeting
  • Share at least one success story
  • A short training exercise or some other form of professional development

Avoid these meeting topics

Avoid meeting topics that are better covered in a one-on-one meeting or could be asked in writing. These include any questions that are easily answered in the practice’s employee handbook.

It takes time to train your team to understand which topics are open for discussion and which are better covered through a different medium. A good rule of thumb is, “Does your question or concern matter to everyone in the group?” If no, this isn’t the time or place.

Keep it positive

Being upset from time to time is part of running your own practice, but it’s important to keep a largely positive vibe during staff meetings. It’s OK to express disappointment with the group as a whole when appropriate, but whenever possible, focus on highlighting specific ways you can improve as a team.