The original owner of our practice recently retired.
Although he had been planning on retiring and a new associate had been identified by both of us months in advance, this transition was very profound and stressful for the entire team. So, with a long term game plan in place, we began the transition between associates. It became evident that each individual within the practice was struggling with this change in their own unique way. Supporting others through change became my part-time passion.
While some team members were engaged in the process, no one was fully comfortable with the transition to this unknown “new practice.”
We had 1.5 years of an office atmosphere that was taking us to this destination with new team members that we did not fully know. We were wondering if it was going to be an office environment with which each person would want to identify. Thankfully, one of the values that binds us—education, came into play in a positive fashion.
In recent years, our team has attended continuing education together, locally.
However, it has been a long-time goal of mine to travel greater distances with the team. Coincidentally, The Pankey Institute unveiled the first Pankey Learning Group for hygienists. The effect that this had on my practice has been amazing thus far.
Although I offered the opportunity to the entire hygiene department, only one hygienist chose to attend.
She attends this learning group, and it has been meaningful to her personally and professionally. She has become highly engaged with her patients, and while leadership and gratitude had not been her most prominent attributes in the past, they certainly are now.
Upon her return, she begins to pull the rest of the team enthusiastically through this transition that embraces a new associate and has us enthusiastically embracing our new unknown. This one hygienist has been embedded in my leadership for twelve years, and now it turns out she has always been absorbing my vision and philosophy. She just needed a little bit of investment from me to become a leader within the team.
The value of having a team member learn, from the colleagues who have helped frame my personal and professional growth, has been priceless.
With more education planned for each of my team members at The Pankey Institute, I am thinking this will be the foundation for a cohesive group of similarly minded professionals working together to provide the best comprehensive dental care for our community.