Management protocols to aid recovery


Andy Acton explains how dental practice managers can help motivate their team and aid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whilst leadership drives the business forward it is management that deals with the complexity of it. There are four characteristics of strong management. This part of our COVID-19 Recovery Package is designed to help you build strong management protocols in readiness for the next part of your journey.


It’s simple, you need to know your numbers. Not the numbers your accountant or practice manager produce, you need a strong understanding of the key ‘numbers’ or ‘stats’ in your practice. For example, number of new patients per day/week/month, daily gross per surgery, mix of income, marketing spend, wages, bank balance +/- £1,000.

Budgeting has never have been more important and managing your costs is essential. Here is a link to an earlier article on cost management that might help.

A budget enables you to plan and work towards target and in turn measure your performance. You should update a budget regularly and track progress against it at least monthly.

Over time, understanding your numbers will enable you to identify trends and adapt accordingly.


Having clear goals means that you and your team can work together in a coordinated fashion. There is a common purpose, and everyone invests in the plan and delivery of the goals.

Devoting time to this planning phase also ensures you do not waste resources on activities that don’t contribute towards the wider goals you have for your practice.

Your team can only share in the plan if there is clarity around what to expect and how it will make a difference. Everything needs to work together.


To delegate effectively, it is critical that everyone knows their roles and responsibilities. Without clear roles and responsibilities, team members will not know what management expects of them.

The added benefit of being crystal clear on roles and responsibilities is that you can delegate rather than abdicate. If someone knows it forms part of their job, then sharing tasks with colleagues is much easier and efficient.

When delegating, it is vital you are clear in your communication so the person taking on the task knows exactly what is required. It’s much better to take time to ensure there is clarity on roles and responsibilities.

Asking for feedback to ensure the team clearly understands your instructions will minimise the chances of misinterpretation, and consequently key tasks ‘falling between the cracks’.

Staying power

Sitting alongside the self-belief required of leaders, you will need staying power. This is about the constancy of purpose, monitoring the numbers and ensuring the team stay on track and focused. Not distracted or disillusioned by any minor setback.

It will require determination and perseverance. Good management is also about doing the small things consistently well. These all add up to ensure you maximise overall practice performance.

Good management is finding satisfaction in helping others be productive. Not being the most productive person in the room.

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