As your dental office expands, you will outgrow your current clinic space, forcing you to either move or expand. Each option comes at a cost; however, an expansion on space you already occupy might be more convenient.
A dental office expansion will take time, and you must ensure minimal disruptions to your clinic. This begins with creating a safe space for your employees and patients, and communicating to them about the expansion.
Accident prevention during the expansion begins with you selling the dream to your employees. If they understand the process and its importance, they can play an integral role in communicating the same to your clients and in keeping the business up and running safely.
The Purpose of the Expansion
As the owner or an investor in the clinic, the need for expansion comes naturally. However, if you are running a profitable clinic, your employees may question the decision. Make a list of the reasons you need to expand, and communicate them to your employees. Emphasize more on the personal reasons such as a staff lounge where they can have a quiet lunch or space to accommodate more clients, which means more responsibilities and rewards down the line.
Start communicating to your employees as soon as you approve the expansion plan. Delaying communication creates rumors that may make your employees feel like their jobs are under threat. Begin the communication process early to give you time to get the buy-in of everyone on your team.
Plan your communication to your employees; for example, customize the message for every stage of the process, encourage questions and even ask for ideas whenever possible. Consider the different teams on your staff and the effect the expansion may have on their access to different facilities when creating your communication plan.
Start using overt communication as the expansion gets closer, and follow up to ensure everyone understands the impact this will have on their work. Create special information packages for every department and hold meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. For example, make sure everyone knows the location of alternative entrances or the new parking area they may need to use.
Make use of Visuals
Visuals will send your message home, and there are different ways you can get creative with images. Share picture of the new space and encourage everyone to use their favorite picture as a screensaver. You can integrate a countdown clock into your system to help you countdown to important dates in the expansion; for example, the kick off date, the unveiling of our new entry day or the end of construction.
Alternatively, create a display board where everyone can see and include pictures of the new space and a countdown clock.
Beyond the Expansion
Think of the expansion process as an opportunity for you and your team to embrace new practices and habits. Hold a meeting where everyone has an opportunity to give suggestions on how you can change your culture to adapt to the new office.
Follow the expansion with new approaches such as re-evaluating your values; re-branding; re-strategizing your communication; creating a new marketing approach or bringing in new talent to support your growth.
The expansion will stress everyone and create inconveniencies. Plan a wrap party and make it the focus point; everyone will look forward to the grand celebration after all the trouble.
In addition to your employees, you need to communicate with your construction team. The work involved will stress you physically, emotionally and psychologically; make it manageable by consulting industry experts such as HJT Dental Design Consultants for the expansion.