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Prof. Dr Anka Letic, DDS., PhD

A better quality of working life, together with the promotion of employment and entrepreneurship,exhibit acceptable work quality,  consistently meet quality  expectations for the product or service by complete work that is generally error free, complete the product or service with minimal waste of time or resources and see jobs through to completion (Tab.1).

Studies have focused on four key dimensions of quality of work and employment: ensuring career and employment security; maintaining the health and well-being of workers; developing skills and competencies; reconciling work-life balance.

Having a work environment that promotes wellness and happiness not only increases mood, but productivity.  The same study reported that happy workers reported spending 80% of their week on work related tasks, while less happy workers spend only 40% of their time on work related tasks.  What boss doesn’t want employees spending more time on work related tasks?  The idea of having fun at work isn’t new. What is important is addressing the direct connection to an employee’s quality of work and life and their work performance without dramatically impacting your company or department’s bottom line. .

Manage your workforce (Tab.1), but avoid micromanaging. No one likes their employer looking over their shoulder every minute of every day. More than ever there is a large pool of employees who don’t need managing. Employees need to be given freedom to think for themselves and work in a space that isn’t constrained at every turn. In order to produce exceptional results, quit micromanaging. Recognize good work. How can something so simple improve quality of work.

The most important factor in the success of a dental practice  for start-ups is  “population  to practitioner  ratios” and “patient mapping”.  Patient mapping is invaluable in determining where to relocate practices as well to marketing practices. Patient mapping is extremely help to practice buyers,  practice sellers and practice brokers.

Cultivating team environment

As chef dentist wait for our understanding of team functioning to grow, there are some things that they can do to cultivate an environment for team success.  Organizational  leaders can delegate leadership to team members who have the time and skill.  Help teams map their work flow and clarify roles to improve functioning;  Positively influence the culture, composition, and size of teams, all of which affect  team  outcomes;  Involve team members in decisions that  affect  them, which in turn affects team member loyalty, cooperation, and retention;  Create a culture of safety where medical teams are more likely to reduce medical errors.

A SWOT analysis  (Tab. 2) can offer helpful perspectives at any stage of the managing effort. You might use it to:  Explore possibilities for new efforts or solutions to problems. Make decisions about the best path for your initiative. Identify  your opportunities for success in context of  threats  to success can clarify directions and choices.  Determine where change is possible. If you are at a juncture or turning point, an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses can reveal priorities as well as possibilities. Adjust and refine plans mid-course. A new opportunity might open wider avenues, while a new threat could close a path that once existed. SWOT also offers a simple way of communicating about your initiative or program and an excellent way to organize information you've gathered from studies or surveys.

SWOT analysis looks at your strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities and threats your business faces. By focusing on the key factors affecting your business, now and in the future, a SWOT analysis provides a clear basis for examining your business performance and prospects.

Tab. 2

SWOT

 INTERNAL factors

Strengths

Multispecialty

Evidence Based Dentistry

High Quality Dental Treatments

Unique Selling Propositions (USP)

Comfort before and after treatment

Reputation

Employ’s productivity

Weaknesses

Shortage of staff

Waiting time – incorrect  schedule

Bad financial management

  EXTERNAL factors

Opportunities

Location

Parking available

More staff – recruitment

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or Education (CE)

Reducing costs

Networking

Treats

Competition

Over- marketing

General economy situation

Facilities

Staff dissatisfaction

Use SWOT analysis as part of a regular process of reviewing your business performance. You may also want  to carry out a SWOT analysis in preparation for raising finance or before bringing in consultants to review your business.   Find out what customers think using a customer satisfaction survey.   Many businesses find a consultant most useful for their first SWOT analysis. Concentrate especially on identifying weaknesses and threats.  Be aware that lack of honesty is a common problem. For example, most people find it easier to identify strengths and opportunities, particularly if the performance of key people  (including yourself)  is one of the weaknesses. Update your conclusions from any previous SWOT analysis. For example, a strength may no longer exist (eg if last year’s cutting edge product is now obsolete).  Assess whether your strengths (or weaknesses) give your business a significant competitive advantage (or disadvantage). For example, your strong research and development programme is useless unless you have the resources to exploit the results. Do not be surprised if certain factors crop up as both a strength and a weakness.  Create a simple, clear action plan. There is no point holding a SWOT analysis if it does not result in action.

Strengths

Your strengths are usually easy to identify, through your continuing dialogue with customers and suppliers. Your records will also help to indicate areas where you are particularly strong  (eg rising sales for a particular service). For most businesses, strengths will fall into four distinct categories. Sound finances may give you advantages over your competitors. Important factors might include: Positive cash flow,  Growing turnover and profitability,  Skilled financial management, good credit control and few bad debts. Marketing may be the key to your success. For example, your business may enjoy:  market leadership in a profitable niche,  a good reputation and a strong brand name,  an established customer base,  effective research and development, use of design and innovation,  a skilled sales force, the ability to make quick decisions.

Skilled employees, successful recruitment, and effective training and development: good motivation and morale, efficient administration. Strengths may include the right premises and plant, and good sources of materials or sub-assemblies.

You may benefit from: Modern, low-cost production facilities;  Spare production capacity; A good location;  Effective purchasing and good relationships with suppliers. Be aware that strengths are not always what they seem. Strengths may imply weaknesses (for example, market leaders are often complacent and bureaucratic) and often imply threats (for example, your star salesman may be a strength — until  he resigns).

Weaknesses

Your weaknesses are often  known but ignored. A SWOT analysis should be the starting point for tackling underperformance in your business.  Poor financial management may result in situations where: insufficient funds are available for investment in new plant or product development. all available security, including personal assets and guarantees, is already pledged for existing borrowings, poor credit control leads to unpredictable cash flow.  Management and personnel weaknesses are often hard to recognize, except with hindsight.  Familiar examples are:

failure to delegate and train successors, expertise and control locked up in a few key personnel, inability to take outside advice, high staff turnover. Inefficient production, premises and plant can undermine any business, however hard people work. Typical problems include:  poor location and shabby premises.  outdated equipment, high cost production and low productivity. Long leases tying the business to unsuitable premises or equipment.

 

Opportunities

External changes provide opportunities that well managed businesses can turn to their advantage. Changes involving organizations  and  individuals which directly affect your business may open up completely new possibilities. For example: deterioration in a competitor’s performance, or the insolvency of a competitor, improved access to potential new customers and markets (eg overseas), increased sales to existing customers, or new leads gained through them, the development of new distribution channels (eg the Internet), improved supply arrangements, such as just-in-time supply or outsourcing non-core activities, the opportunity to recruit a key employee from a competitor, the introduction of financial backers who are keen to fund expansion,  the broader business environment may shift in your favor. This may be caused by: political, legislative or regulatory change. For example, a change in legislation that requires customers to purchase a product. Economic trends.  For example, falling interest rates reducing the cost of capital. Social developments. For example, demographic changes or changing consumer requirements leading to an increase in demand for your products. New technology. For example, new materials, processes and information technology.

Threats

Threats can be minor or can have the potential to destroy the business.  Changes involving organizations and  individuals that directly affect your business can have far-reaching effects. For example: improved competitive products or the emergence of new competitors, loss of a significant customer, creeping over-reliance on one distributor or group of distributors, failure of suppliers to meet quality requirements, price rises from suppliers,  key personnel  leaving, perhaps with trade secrets, lenders reducing credit lines or increasing charges, a rent review threatening to increase costs, or the expiry of a lease, legal action (eg. being sued by a customer). The broader business environment may alter to your disadvantage. This may be the result of: political, legislative or regulatory change. For example, new regulation increasing your costs or requiring product redesign.  Economic trends. For example, lower exchange rates reducing your income from overseas. Social developments. For example, consumer demands for “environmentally-friendly” products, new technology. For example, technology that makes your products obsolete or gives competitors an advantage.  Protect yourself against threats. For example: build relationships with suppliers and customers, foster good employee relations, ensure you have clear and reasonable contracts with suppliers, customers and employees. Successful businesses focus on capturing market niches and creating ‘barriers to entry’ to reduce potential competition.

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