Create and Sustain a Culture of Teamwork

Hiring and cultivating a great dental team may be the number one way to build a profitable dental practice. Professional journals and marketing firms urge dentists to continually review their patient experience and marketing strategies as a means to create and develop a successful practice. Consider a more foundational approach to enhance your practice success first. Many dentists look at their practice upside down, working on their advertising and marketing programs before spending time to build and nurture the type of staff who understand their vision and patient care philosophy. A commitment to staff will provide the skills, and the practice culture, necessary to allow the team to create a referral-worthy experience for your patients!

It makes no sense to get new patients in your office only to have them exit out the back as quickly as they are coming in. Don’t bother investing in anything else until you have the right people in the right jobs — otherwise, you are sabotaging your practice and wasting marketing dollars. A well-functioning team can be one of the most enjoyable parts of your dental practice; a dysfunctional collection of people can be a lingering challenge.


How do you build and nurture this team?

  • Communicate your vision and clinical philosophy of care
  • Communicate regularly through monthly team meetings
  • Daily morning huddles enhance teamwork and set the stage for the day
  • Regular performance reviews allow 1:1 feedback and goal setting
  • Detailed job descriptions remove ambiguity
  • Team building activities reinforce your culture
  • Reward teamwork through strategically designed bonus structures
  • Provide consistent encouragement

Monthly meetings can be a powerful way to motivate the staff to play a larger role in the growth of the practice, build team cohesiveness, and increase overall communication. Empower staff members to play a larger role in meetings to gain collaboration and buy-in. Team building activities can be a catalyst in building team synergy as well as support problem solving AND be a fun way to spend time together to release some of the inevitable stresses that
go along with practice life.


Suggested team building activities

    1. Blind Drawing: Communication skills
      In pairs, sit back-to-back. One person gets a picture of a simple image, the other a blank piece of paper. The person with the image gives verbal directions to their partner to re-create the image. The person drawing cannot ask questions. After a set amount of time, see which team came the closest to drawing the image. Repeat allowing both partners to communicate — you will quickly see the value of dialogue!
    2. Flip It Over: Collaboration
      Ask 6-8 team members to huddle together and stand on a blanket, leaving a quarter of the portion empty. Challenge the group to flip over the blanket so that they are standing on the other side without getting off the blanket or touching the ground outside the blanket.


Bring laughter and playfulness into your practice. A happy team = a happy patient!

Need help supporting teamwork in your practice? Burkhart’s Practice Support Team welcomes the opportunity to support our loyal clients with additional resources and coaching to improve teamwork. We are committed to your practice’s business success.


Your success is our success. Please reach out to us anytime.
Learn more, visit the Practice Support Team page, call 1.800.665.5323 or email us at

Burkhart Dental Supply – Practice Support Team

Category: Practice Consulting

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