Episode 195 – Rewarding for Team Engagement

“I want you to be able to take great care of your patients, have low stress, and have a business that you’ve always dreamed of… and that is possible!” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

This podcast is a continuation of episode 192 (“Are You A Micromanager?”) in which your host, Dr. Bruce B. Baird, discusses the core principles of team motivation and rewards, offering invaluable insights he’s gained from years of experience. As a seasoned dentist, Dr. Baird understands the pivotal role a motivated and cohesive team can play in the success of a dental practice. Drawing from his own experiences, Dr. Baird shares a treasure trove of strategies, anecdotes, and practical tips aimed at empowering dentists to cultivate a thriving and harmonious work environment.

Throughout this episode, Dr. Baird underscores the importance of fostering a culture of transparency, support, and inclusion within your dental team. He also emphasizes the significance of ongoing education and team development. From team retreats to CE opportunities, Dr. Baird explores various ways practices can invest in their team members’ professional and personal growth, which elevates patient care and overall practice performance. 

As you listen to this episode, ask yourself the following:

  • What are some things you can do to enhance your team’s motivation and cohesion?
  • How can fostering a culture of transparency, support, and inclusion benefit not only team members but also your practice’s overall success?
  • What steps can you take to prioritize the well-being of your team members and encourage reduced stress, and enhanced patient care?


Regan 0:00
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else? That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help, visit productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productivedentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:46
When we went to New York, I gave everybody a couple of 100 bucks and said, “Go spend it on yourself.” You know, the best the you know the best of everything, stayed at the best hotels, went to great shows did everything and together as a team and you start to see the team really, really come together that way. Hello, everyone. This is Dr. Bruce B. Baird and you’re listening to the Productive Dentist Podcast in this podcast, I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years in dentistry working with 1000s of dentists. I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way, it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and I’d love to share that with you so you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows, more time for things you love, increased pay, better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast.

Dr. Bruce Baird 1:52
Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist Podcast and I’m going to kind of continue what we were discussing on our last podcast today but I’m going to kind of add in what are some of the rewards that you can offer your team to, to make them more enrolled in what you’re doing and make them become part of you know, the fabric of your business and have them want to show up no matter what no matter when and when that happens, you’ll find that productivity goes up, stress goes down, profitability goes up, whining goes down, you know all of these things happen but let me tell you about some of the things that we did in our practice what we’ve done in our practice that have helped I don’t know grow, grow camaraderie grow us together as a team and number one is to having a reward system for that for the team. You know, we have what’s called a profitability and Senate point, which is a bonus system that runs on a three-month average and it shares profits of the practice with the team. So they know that the better we all do as a group, the better they do individually. I think that, that is a bonus system that, that works extremely well. I remember doing bonus systems in the past that I was paying out bonus money and it had nothing to do with collections and production, nothing to do with profitability and there were some really wonderfully thought of consultants out there that were telling you you should do that. Well, they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about, in my opinion but yes, that’s, that’s a great deal but another one is what we call the grab bag bonus, and I’ve talked about that in the past but when we would go 20% above our daily goal, then, you know, we would allow people to reach out bag and pull out either a $10 bill a $20 bill or a 50.

Dr. Bruce Baird 1:52
Obviously, there were less 50s than there were 20s but it was something that was an immediate gratification at the end of each day. Not only do we do that, but we said if we do that two days in a row 20% over our goal that you actually get to reach in twice. Does that affect us? Wow. You know, heck, we’re, you know, we’re producing at a high level, I want to share the daily goal and I want to share when we do well and how how do we know when we’re doing well? Well. You know, we set our goals beginning of the year like we talked two or three podcasts ago. You know, we set our goals, we know what we want to do but we also want our team to understand where we’re headed and why we’re headed that way. We’re very transparent about the numbers and if you’re not transparent, what ends up happening is your team thinks you’re rich. You’re making if you’re producing 100,000  a month they think okay after salaries. 100,000 a month, you know, minus that it all goes to you. They don’t understand. So I want my team to understand overhead, I want them to understand every aspect of it. Now, I’m not going to tell each employee what the other employees are making. That’s something that I try to keep with an understanding that you can always make more money here. You know, I’m not one that necessarily, yes, I do a yearly evaluation and we talked to the employee, or we talked to the team member, and we tell them all the things that we’re really happy about and proud and some things that, hey, these are some things I think we could work on and I want to help you, you know, that’s a different philosophy than just going well, you’ve had three warnings, you’ve had this now, you may have to do that at some time in your practice but I’m more interested in finding out what can I do to motivate you as a leader? What can I do to help you understand that the better that we all do, the better you do individually and if there’s any kind of bonus system that you’re doing that doesn’t reflect that, like some people say, “Why don’t include hygiene in that?” No, I include hygiene and everything. Why? Because they’re a part of a team. I have hygienist that would come in and clean. You know, they’ll come in and clean the room, you know, for us, you know, because they know we’re running behind? Maybe there’s one employee that’s missing that day, for whatever reason but when I say that, it’s super important to do that.

Dr. Bruce Baird 6:41
What are some other things? You know, what are some other things that could help employees? Well, number one is going to continue education, you know, loading up the crew, you know, we took the entire crew, an entire team of people to Hawaii, we took an entire crew to New York City, you know, to American Academy of Implant Dentistry meeting, in many of you heard that story. But I wanted them to know, because what happens when you take an entire team to continue it, they realize how great and how different your practice is, than a majority of the others. You know, so they, they’re talking to other team members and other, other teams, and they go, “Gosh, we don’t have all these problems, we don’t have those problems,” because you know, those can turn into great sessions when you’re out but not not in our case. Having, having other dentists come visit, you know, to look at your practice and to help you know what ends up happening, we had, oh, five of my buddies in dental school, we all went to each other’s offices, and we evaluated and we just, we would complement the team and later on, after I started doing more teaching, having dentists in the office was actually a motivator for our team, they say, “We must be really good, because people are actually coming to see what we’re doing.: Raising the level of admiration you have for your own team can make that huge difference. When we went to New York, I gave everybody a couple 100 bucks and said, “Go spend it on yourself.” You know, the best, the best of everything, stayed at the best hotels, went to great shows did everything and together as a team, and you start to see the team really, really come together that way.

Dr. Bruce Baird 8:30
The other, the other things that that we did was just go on a simple team vacation, go to Cancun, you know, we took 20 people, is it expensive to take 20 people airfare and I would suggest going to an all-inclusive, but, you know, I say that because it’s gonna be a lot more predictable on what you’re going to spend but when you look at and say, “Let’s set a goal of x,” and you know that if you reach a goal of x, not only is your office going to be so much more profitable, because remember, once you get to the profitability and Senate point, or that, that point to where everything’s paid for, everything above that has a very low overhead number. So if you take it to the next level, and all of a sudden you’re down in Mexico at a meeting, and it’s you know, AFC meetings and all these different places now, you know, so you go down to a CE meeting, but you tell them I don’t care if you go to see, I you know, we’re gonna go we’re gonna have fun, and, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have fun at the resort. I don’t care if you go to the meetings, but there’s gonna be a lot of other team members there. There’s gonna be a lot of other people there and guess what happens? What happens is these your team members are now with other team members and, you know, maybe they didn’t bring their whole team maybe they only brought one or two employees and all of us You have people that aren’t even dental assistants aren’t even working in the dental industry or dental frontman, whatever it is, that are saying, “Man, I wish I worked for your boss, I wish I worked with you guys.” I’ve had people say that I can’t tell you how many times, hundreds of times said, “Man, I’d love to do it.” Even my patients would go, “You took your whole team to Cancun, you took your whole team to Hawaii. Man, I wish I worked here.” I said, “Well, that we can make that happen. You know, we’re not less, let’s talk, we were looking for somebody that does X, Y, or Z,” but when you build a culture, that a culture of inclusion, a culture of communication, a culture of complementing our team, a culture of educating our team, a culture of when something’s going on in their family life, a culture of support for that team member.

Dr. Bruce Baird 10:57
I’ve told the story about Gay, her son was in a coma, he had a four-wheeler accident and I went to the hospital, I spent time there. The next morning, Gay was at the office while he was in a coma. I looked at her and said, “What are you doing here?” She is like, “Well, I’m here for work.” I said, “Get your butt in your truck, go back over to the hospital.” She was like, “I really can’t afford it and I can’t afford to miss work,’ and I said, “Here’s the deal, I will pay you, I will pay you your normal salary, as long as he is in a coma and I want you to be there with him,” and it almost brings tears my eyes because it meant so much. It was at the financial part for me, the whole team came together and supported Gay and I told him, I said, “Look, I’m going to take care of her salary, we’re going to include that in our monitor structure, we’re going to include her in everything,” and you know, praise the Lord to a few years, a few months, he was in a coma for a couple of months afterwards, he fully recovered. So how do you think she felt about what we did and what, what I did my commitment to my team and what do you think the team thought of that and I don’t mind if a team members haven’t personal issues and personal problems. I want to try to help them if I can, you know, I want to be a mentor for him. You know, I want to be a helper for him. You know, if they’re always in the same boat all the time, and they keep making poor decisions, then I point that out. You know, it’s just like having one of my daughters, I’ve got, I’ve got now counting bonus daughters and I’ve gotten, you know, eight daughters and, you know, so I’m used to giving advice, trying to give advice to help, to help them but, but you see all these things play a major role. They all come together. It’s not the one thing you do is not when you leave at the end of the day and go, “Gay, you did a phenomenal job today, thank you,” or when you ran behind that day, and you call the whole team together, you know, that had been working with you in the back and up for you just said “Guys, it was a tough day today, I really appreciate you guys. I mean, nobody, nobody went nuts. We were able to take care of everybody. We kept, we kept our heads up high. We, you know, we did the things that we know we do well, and thank you,” and thank you goes a long way.

Dr. Bruce Baird 13:33
So you think it’s all about the money. Now I want my team to be the highest-paid people, if we’re the fastest-growing practice in the area and they’re getting to share and profitability, profitability and Senate point bonuses and they’re getting grant back bonuses. Trust me, they’re the highest-paid people in the area, there is no one around you and you’ll have other people who want to come work for you. So you can blame COVID, you can blame anything you want but my experience in life has been usually I have to self-reflect because usually if I’m in a pickle is because I got me there and I got my team there and so I share this with you. I hope, I hope you take it to heart, I hope it’s something you may be doing all these things and that’s awesome and I’m proud of you, but if you’re not, these are things that might be able to help you in the long run and that’s what I want. I want you to be able to take great care of your patients have low stress, and to have a business is one that, that you’ve always dreamed of and that is possible. Productive Dentist Academy we teach a lot of this stuff we work with you on this stuff. People say well, “I don’t know if I you know, you know, whatever but I don’t know if I really want to hire a coach, its too expensive.” We’re going to talk about that again here. Just a little bit on one of our future podcasts. But anyway, thanks. I hope you guys vote for us. On dental dentalwoo. It is dentalwoo, there is a contest right now for the favorite podcasts. We’ve been in the top three podcasts the last couple of years and I would appreciate about if you liked our podcast. So anyway, thank you guys. I look forward to our next podcast together. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast. If you found this episode helpful, make sure you subscribe, pass it along to a friend. Give us a like on iTunes and Spotify or drop me an email at podcast@productivedentist.com Don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of productivedentistpodcast.com Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast

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