There’s a piece of your dental practice that’s more important than your tools, your materials, and even your patients: your office manager. Without an office manager, you won’t have tools, materials, and even patients. The perfect office manager will help create an environment where patients are the priority, you can focus on their care, and where the team feels valued.
Characteristics of the Perfect Office Manager for Your Dental Practice
The office manager role is a balance of managing the day to day while also helping you cast a vision for the future of your dental practice, so they need a variety of skills to succeed.
An office manager, especially in a dental office, needs to be organized. Between insurance forms, HR paperwork, and orders coming and going, they need to have a system and a grasp of how the office runs.
Now, their organization system may not necessarily look organized to you, but if they show they can find what’s needed and know what’s happening each day, they’re the office manager you need.
They’re Efficient & Strong Time Managers
In dental offices, efficiency is key for the doctors and support staff, but it’s also important for the front desk. A perfect office manager will ensure every aspect of the office is running smoothly and that they’re efficiently managing the staff and office needs.
Time management is also important for an office manager. They will often have a long to-do list and limited time to accomplish it in, which means they need to efficiently manage their time and the rest of the team’s time. The perfect office manager won’t waste time with small tasks if they know that there’s a high priority project they need to finish.
They’re Friendly to the Team and Your Patients
The perfect office manager will be friendly to everyone they encounter, even on the most stressful day. Your office manager sets the tone for the team, and that tone is important when working with nervous patients.
This includes morale like mentioned above, but also the small things like a quick smile to a patient they pass in the hallway or cookies to celebrate someone’s birthday. A great office manager will realize that small acts can influence an office.
They’re Strong Leaders
As we know, leading and managing are two totally different acts. Management is the day to day activities of running a team, and leadership is creating a loyal team that wants to complete their day to day activities.
This involves thinking strategically and being willing to have the tough conversations. They’ll give the team feedback on their performance, and support them as they work to improve. The perfect office manager will celebrate the wins and help rebuild after the losses.
They’re Ready with a Joke or a Laugh
A sense of humor may not be the first on your list, but it should definitely be on there. The perfect office manager will realize that stressful situations happen, mistakes are made, and the only thing you can do is laugh it off and learn from it.
During those “perfect storm” days where every other patient is late, you’re running out of materials, and a hygienist has called out sick, you need an office manager that can take it all without breaking and know how to make it easier on you and your team.
Whether your dental practice is growing rapidly or you’re about to head out and start a new practice, you need the perfect office manager. There may not be one perfect office manager for everyone, but you can find yours with these five priorities. They should complement your personality and management style while still leading with grace, laughing when needed, and creating an efficient and organized office that lets you focus on your patients.