The Domino Effect

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How one bad decision can multiply your problems

Ever look at how one simple innocent decision can influence a not-so-pleasant chain of events? Often it is the outcome of wanting to make things easy and less complicated, along with being a kind, caring and trusting employer.

In the business of operating a dental practice while working in close proximity to your employees and fellow co-workers, often decisions are made as though we were interfacing with friends.  Granted, in our business the friendships are quickly developed.  We’re a small group so finding ourselves connected on a personal level is quite common.  There are some wonderful things that we can say about developing relationships like ours that become long lasting friendships (I know because I have made many of my own).  Nonetheless, lots of “fall-out”, as I call it, can result from not managing your practice as the business that it really is.

It can be as innocent as granting an employee time off without confirming that there aren’t any scheduling conflicts to make sure the loss of one person will not affect the efficiency and production for the day.  This doesn’t even take into account the hardships it could create for the team that is left to support the activities of the day.  And what about the lack of attention the patients might experience, or the fact that they can easily see the additional chaos and angst the team will most likely be exhibiting? Will all of your patients get the time that they deserve?

Another example I have experienced is when one of my client does not see the value or need in conducting background checks and drug testing for their employees.  “Oh gee Deb, I trust them, since most of them have been here a while and it’s just another thing that I have to incorporate into my already busy schedule”.

Talk about “fall-out” and what an undetected less-than-honorable employee can cause for the group and your practice!! Some of the most talented, well spoken, gifted dental professionals have been known to fool many sharp and intelligent employers.  The relatively easy process to safeguard future stress and heartache can be handled quite nicely via a number of very reputable and BBB approved websites.

Not only is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure, but once you initiate this as part of your interview process you will efficiently narrow your field of job candidates.  I always encourage sharing this information early during the interview process. This will enable you to eliminate candidates that do not fit your practice requirements prior to moving forward with your systems.  Please do note that you WILL need to retroactively screen all of your current employees once you put this element in play.  Otherwise it could be considered discrimination to the incoming team members who are being asked to comply.

So when you think about cutting corners with systems or protocols to save time and trouble you might want to think again. In some cases it is based on saving money. Really?  Are you aware that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been embezzled from dental practices over the past 20 or so years? Are you thinking that you strive to be more than a great boss and that you also want to be their trusted friend?

Think it over before you react and keep in mind that this is a business first.  Being a warm and caring boss is not a bad thing, but it is easy to slip into complacency if we are not consistently working to maintain professionalism and integrity. The chain reaction that a poor decision can cause will probably not be worth the precious little time and expense that would prevent serious issues.


One thought on “The Domino Effect

  1. Substantial points. As business owners and those of us that embody more lenient demenors; we tend to allow this dysfunction habit only feed into susceptible disaster.

    Great read!

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