Drama has a place in the theater, movies and television -- but not in the workplace.
The charged atmosphere caused by workplace drama can lead
to emotional confrontations and drive patients away from a dental practice.
To reduce workplace drama, California Dental Association (CDA) Practice Advisor Shaun Pryor recommends starting at the top. An owner should set the example by staying calm and avoiding displays of frustration or anger. A professional demeanor, including body language, reduces anxiety and drama in the office.
An office policy manual establishes the expectations and policies of the business. It also provides consistency when coping with personal and professional situations that arise when several people are working in the same space. By laying out specific guidelines and disciplinary actions, the owner dentist can avoid employee and patient angst.
Regular performance evaluations and salary reviews also establish an opportunity to clear the air. While the owner should never discuss any employee with another, the dentist can cover concerns with office drama. The meeting should not devolve into he said, she said; instead, the dentist should stay focused on observed behaviors and how the employee can improve performance. Written performance evaluations, disciplinary actions and other personnel matters should be kept in a locked filing cabinet.
By maintaining a professional atmosphere in the office, the owner can facilitate an atmosphere of collaboration and cooperation that fosters a flourishing practice.