How to Improve Your Dental Practice with EOS
What the heck is EOS?
What is the primary goal of EOS?
“I would say the biggest change since implementing EOS is clarity. We have a 10-year vision of where we are going, and know who our target audience is and potential issues we need to address. We have clear tools to communicate and meetings in order to address these issues in a timely manner. It allows us to focus on what is going to move the needle and goals that are going to help us achieve our big vision. We no longer waste time on goals that may be good for our industry, but not specifically for our mission.”
– Dr. Thomas Dooley, Cedar Village Dentistry in Mason, OH
6 ways EOS can help your practice reach its full potential
Do you know where your practice is headed? While not every practice needs to be hyper-growth motivated, having a clear vision of where you want to go as a practice is crucial in a competitive landscape.
EOS helps focus your growth through a tool called the Vision/Traction Organizer. This document puts down on paper your company’s vision for the future. In it, you’ll place your 1, 3, and 10-year goals, core focus and values, important Rocks, issues, and more. The end goal for this document is to get your employees on the same page for both immediate and long-term goals.
3. Improves communication
What good is a great team that can’t get on the same page? A key focus of EOS is to get your team communicating effectively so they can problem solve more efficiently, work through issues, and be operating at their best.
Part of this is done through the Vision/Traction Organizer, but also through weekly meetings with a consistent agenda where you work through issues. The EOS folks call it a “weekly meeting pulse,” but it’s really just a way for you to get on the same page with your team. The idea is that this will help you work through everything in one go, as opposed to having multiple meetings that take up more time and are disruptive.
4. Keeps your team (and you) accountable
Another important aspect of EOS is making sure your team is accountable. This does not mean micromanaging your employees.
EOS places an emphasis on tracking key numbers to measure the production of different employees and teams. It’s crucial that these numbers are not necessarily seen as indicative of employee performance (though they may in certain situations).
Put simply, these measurables should track key actions of your practice (think new patient appointments, missed payments, etc). For every position at your practice, you’ll set what is expected in actions relevant to the position.
For every major number at your practice, an employee will have responsibility over it. They will be the only person who answers to that number. You’ll track these measurables for every employee. This is called a Scorecard, and it will ensure that if numbers are not being met, you will know there’s a problem that needs solving.
5. Active problem solving
What good is identifying an issue if you don’t have a good process to solve it? When issues pop up, be it through identification from a team member, low numbers on a scorecard, or feedback from a patient, EOS has a tool to help your team work through the issue.
This tool is called IDS (identify, discuss, solve). IDS generally takes place at your weekly meetings. It’s crucial that your team is open, honest, and works in good faith (that means no finger pointing!). During IDS, you will identify the real issue and discuss with your team the best way to solve the problem. It will generally start by identifying the person who is accountable for the issue.
The idea is that honest conversation will lead to clear and actionable next steps that will solve the issue.
6. Less waste (of time and people)
The People Analyzer uses your Core Values and Scorecard to ensure that your employees fit in with your practice’s culture, and can keep up with the responsibilities of their specific position. If they don’t, you can then find someone who is the right person for the job. By making sure that you have the right people in the right positions, you will ensure that none of your employees’ efforts are being wasted on a task they are not capable of or committed to.
When EOS is functioning properly, everyone is rowing in the right direction. Practices that are successfully using EOS will waste less time focusing on the wrong goals, actions, and employees.