Getting Team Members to ‘Pull On the Rope’ Part 1

July 7, 2017 Mark Kleive DDS

3 Types of Team Members Who Make or Break Success

Keeping team members engaged throughout the year is a struggle if you don’t have a communication-based framework in place.

During a recent course I received many questions about how I get my team members engaged. This left me reflecting on lessons I’ve learned over the years from research by the Gallup organization.

Read on to learn what causes disengagement and how you can avoid the downfalls of a disgruntled team in your practice.

The 3 Types of Team Members

In the book, “12: The Elements of Great Managing,” Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter use research from Gallup to describe the three types of team members that exist in corporate America. I believe these types are applicable to dentistry as well:

  1. Engaged: They have the magical ingredient of passion.
  2. Not Engaged: Pretty much checked out. They put in time but there’s no energy in their work.
  3. Actively Disengaged: They’re not only unhappy, they actually undermine what engaged team members try to accomplish.

How Engagement Determines Business Success

What the authors found is that the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is quite different in highly productive corporations versus average corporate America.

Engaged team members in average corporate America were 30% versus 63% in highly productive organizations. Similarly, not engaged was 29% in the highly productive versus 50% in the average. Most shockingly, the actively disengaged employees were more than twice as high in the average corporate office: 8% versus 20%.

This had me thinking of the analogy of a 10 person bicycle. Three people are pedaling really hard at the front. Five people have their hands on the handlebars but their feet are up in the air and they’re not pedaling. Then there are two people way in the back who are actively holding onto the break. This either means a stalling ride or one that could be much faster if everyone were like the first three.

The 12 questions in the book and their corresponding need categories are useful for sussing out what matters most to promote engagement. They show us what can we do about low morale in our dental offices.

Look for Part 2 of this blog series next week where I’ll outline the four team needs that will change your practice.

What do you do when you notice team members are disengaged? Comment below with your thoughts!

(Link to Getting Team Members to ‘Pull On the Rope’ Part 2)

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About Author

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Mark Kleive DDS

Dr. Mark Kleive earned his D.D.S. degree with distinction from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1997. Mark has had experience as an associate in a multi-clinic setting and as an owner of 2 different fee-for-service practices. For the last 6 years Mark has practiced in a beautiful area of the country – Asheville, North Carolina, where he lives with his wife Nicki and twin daughters Meighan and Emily. Mark has been passionate about advanced education since graduation. Mark is a Visiting Faculty member with The Pankey Institute and a 2015 inductee into the American College of Dentistry. He leads numerous small group study clubs, lectures nationally and offers his own small group programs. During the last 19 years of practice, Dr. Kleive has made a reputation for himself as a caring, comprehensive oral healthcare provider.

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