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Cultivating a Thriving Work Culture in Dentistry: Insights from Lorri Detrick

By Planet DDS
March 28, 2024

Lorri Detrick, President and COO of Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry, recently shared her invaluable insights on The Dental Economist Show, emphasizing the critical role of work culture in the dental sector. With an extensive background in healthcare operations and leadership, Detrick’s perspective sheds light on how a well-cultivated work environment can significantly impact both employee satisfaction and patient care.

The Foundation of a Strong Work Culture

For Detrick, the journey towards building a positive work culture begins with aligning the organization’s mission, vision, and values with daily operations. At Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry, the mission to “change lives one smile at a time” is not solely focused on patients but extends to how employees treat each other. This holistic approach fosters an environment where everyone feels valued, supported, and part of a larger purpose. Detrick’s leadership is deeply rooted in ensuring that both patients and employees feel cared for, which is instrumental in creating a sense of belonging and commitment.

Empowering Leaders and Managers

Detrick highlights that the real drivers of culture within a dental practice are the doctors and office managers. Their role in shaping the workplace environment is crucial, as they directly influence daily interactions and set the tone for the practice. Recognizing this, Riccobene Associates invests in professional development and coaching to enhance leadership skills across the board. This commitment to leadership growth ensures that managers are equipped to foster a positive work culture, address challenges proactively, and lead by example.

Navigating Change with a People-First Approach

Change is inevitable in the fast-paced world of dental care, but how it is managed can make a significant difference in maintaining a strong work culture. Detrick’s strategy for implementing new systems or technologies is grounded in a people-first approach. Whether it’s introducing an assisted hygiene model or integrating new software, understanding the “why” behind the change and its benefits for the team is key. By involving employees in the process and addressing their concerns, Riccobene Associates ensures that transitions are smooth and that the team remains cohesive and motivated.

Learning from Feedback and Building Resilience

One of Detrick’s most valuable learning sources is feedback from her team. Creating an environment where constructive feedback is encouraged and acted upon is essential for personal and organizational growth. Detrick views challenges and setbacks as opportunities for innovation and resilience-building. Through open dialogue and a willingness to adapt, she demonstrates how a responsive and flexible leadership style can lead to a stronger, more resilient work culture.

Lorri Detrick’s insights into cultivating a positive work culture in dentistry highlight the profound impact of leadership, communication, and a shared sense of purpose on employee satisfaction and patient care. By prioritizing a supportive work environment, investing in leadership development, and embracing change with a people-first mindset, dental practices can thrive. Detrick’s approach at Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry serves as an inspiring example for dental leaders aiming to build a workplace where everyone feels valued, motivated, and part of a collective mission to change lives one smile at a time.