Have you ever been a part of a highly motivated team? If you have, chances are that most days, you were happy to do your work. You were focused and enthusiastic. Your coworkers and employees likely felt the same.  Furthermore, whenever you felt that the team needed to step up on your behalf, you could always trust them to do so. 

Isn’t that level of teamwork and camaraderie exactly what we want from our business? To feel comfortable taking some time off knowing that everything is going to be just fine?

In this blog, we’re going to discuss some of the things we do inside our business to build a positive and productive team. Keep reading to learn more about: 

  • The benefits of a positive team 
  • How you can become a positive leader
  • Ways to reinforce trust and wellness inside your practice 
  • The importance of positive reinforcement and employee autonomy 
  • Skills and behaviors to emphasize 

The Benefits of a Positive Team 

What does it mean to be a positive leader? Why is it important for your business?

We are not just talking about the obvious fact that positive teams are a goal for anyone who wants to feel happy when they wake up and go to work. Highly motivated teams can accomplish far more than teams that struggle with negativity and low morale.

Motivation and positivity increase our ability to:

  • Think creatively
  • Progress in our professional growth
  • Cope with challenges 
  • Work with other people 
  • Reduce absenteeism and staff turnover
  • Lead to more happy and productive teams. 

In short, positivity is an indispensable ingredient for success in any business.
But to create this kind of positive, motivated dream team, you can’t just hire a few people with great resumes or tell your team to think happy thoughts. As a leader, you need to go further than simply giving direction. Let’s dive into some ideas. 

How Can You Become a Positive Leader?

You don't have to possess any inherent skills to be a great leader. 

As leaders, it's our responsibility to create the spaces and provide the tools for every person in our team to perform their duties efficiently.

Great leadership is all about doing a handful of things with your team members consistently and well.

1. Reinforce trust and wellness inside your practice. 

Here’s something worth considering: 

A recent Gallup poll of more than one million employed workers in the U.S. concluded that the number one reason people quit their jobs is because they have a bad relationship with their boss or immediate supervisor. Approximately 75% of workers who voluntarily left their jobs did so because of their bosses, not because of the position itself.

The employees who quit didn't feel appreciated.

How do you demonstrate your trust and appreciation to your employees and coworkers? 

Show them you trust them by being trustworthy in return! 

As a leader, being trustworthy is about:

  • Earning your team members’ confidence
  • Being dependable
  • Being approachable and friendly
  • Showing support for your team members, even when they make mistakes
  • Balancing the need for results with consideration of others and their feelings
  • Working hard to win over people by being respectful of their ideas and perspectives

Also, consider fostering positive relationships amongst your team. Interact with them and make sure they interact with each other as much as possible!  Remember, humans are social animals, and encouraging your employees to build positive, trusting relationships with each other and with yourself will yield great results. 

Interactions among coworkers and team members can have a significant impact on employee engagement. The more engaged employees are, the more they want to share their creativity and good ideas with others in the organization.

2. Boost the self-confidence of the people around you.

Make an effort to build confidence in your team. Confidence can make or break people's ability to achieve their goals. So how can you boost the self-confidence of the people around you?

Pro-tip: Emphasize soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, or creativity. Unfortunately, these key skills are often de-emphasized in corporate environments. According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, “These skills are not ‘soft’ – they’re highly complex, take years to learn, and are always changing in their scope.”

Here are some examples of soft-skills you should look for depending on the role:

Time management
Critical thinking
Stress management
Conflict management
Openness to criticism

3. Set clear goals.

All performance begins with clear goals and expectations. Every employee needs to know what you expect of them. The best goals are few in number and specific in focus, and they encourage people to stretch to achieve them. Not too difficult, not too simple. Aim for somewhere in between.

4. Develop knowledge and skills.

Every dental or ortho practice has its own set of priorities for growth, and knowing which initiatives will make the greatest impact can be tough. But, what makes a business prosperous and truly differentiates one organization from the rest is not the product it sells or the service it offers, it's the people within it

  • Offer professional training from the get-go. Setting your employees up for success in their role gives them all the tools and resources they need to do their job well. This includes professional training.
  • Model the behavior you seek. Nothing speaks louder about the culture of an organization than your behavior as a leader, which influences employee action and has the potential to drive their results. If you say teamwork is important, reinforce the point by collaborating across teams and functions. Give credit when people do great work and you’ll set the stage for an appreciative culture.
  • Invest in personal development. Employees are whole human beings composed of physical, intellectual, and emotional experiences. For them to evolve both personally and professionally, employee development must be all-encompassing. This means you can invest in their emotional, physical or intellectual growth.

5. Encourage autonomy.

Autonomy is freedom. It’s independence. Autonomy means allowing employees to shape their professional environment so they can perform to the best of their ability. Autonomy does not mean working in isolation, letting people do whatever they want whenever they want, or failing to provide guidance. An autonomous workplace is based on trust, respect, dependability and integrity.

When you entrust your employees with autonomy, you’ll see how your team thrives. You’ll start to feel confident about taking a day or two off of work knowing your team will act accordingly to every situation. 

6. Celebrate success.

We all know how amazing it feels to receive a well-deserved pat on the back for trying hard or achieving a great result. When your accomplishments are acknowledged, it feels really good. But, in addition to making us feel good, celebrating our achievements also helps us develop a successful mindset and stay motivated. 

Make an effort to recognize what behaviors or dynamics are working well within your team and why, so you can replicate them later! 

So, what kind of leader do you want to be? We would love to know where you’re at with your team and how we can help you improve! 

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