Advice and Tips for Office Managers

Being an Office Manager is quite a task and a position that comes with many perks as well as challenges. In addition, your Office Manager is your right hand and the person who very likely cares about your practice just as much as you do. What’s more, they’re the face of your practice but also the face of your leadership team. Who they are, their values and their work ethic are all crucial components of your culture and they all reflect in your patient care. 

There are many differences between Office Managers who want to see you and your practice succeed and those who come in and out only to collect their paycheck. It’s so important to not only make sure we make the right choice when hiring or promoting within our practice but to guide your Office Manager, especially when they’ve out of a sudden stepped into chaos (this is especially valid for new or inexperienced managers or an unorganized practice).

The good news is, there are TONS of resources to help you with this. From our Office Manager Course to our Facebook Group- Dentists and Office Managers, DAT podcast, and our newsletter. The opportunities for both you and your OM are truly endless when it comes to guiding them toward helping you build the practice you want.

To help you with this, we also compiled a list we have worked on with our clients and friend doctors. We asked a question:

“What are your best tips for Office Managers?”

Here are the answers:

Your relationships with co-workers are different and should be different than those of everyone else in the practice. You can not play favorites!  The team is equal; you will treat everyone fairly, consistently, and with respect.  The conversations with team members and you will be respected and confidential.

Stay true to your word. Do what you said you would. Stand by your and company’s values always. This will build respect and trust.

You do not need to be an expert at everything, this is why you have a team who are experts in their roles. It’s ok to say “I don’t know but I will find out”

Be willing to learn. You will wear many hats, so you must see the big picture while paying attention to the small stuff

Take ownership of your role, your team, and practice performance. Don’t tolerate excuses from anyone, including you. Take ownership of the KPIS and goals, watch for threats and opportunities, and be an ambassador for the practice’s goals. If you don’t believe in your practice’s mission, your team won’t either.

Being an office manager, a doctor, or frankly, anyone in any position within your practice is a constant development that requires determination as well as resources.

Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being a leader means having hard conversations, making tough decisions, and letting numbers guide your decisions. 

Don’t burn yourself out by doing it all yourself. Delegation is a beautiful skill to possess. Be willing to delegate within your team’s scope.

Remember that while you’re in charge, your team can see things you don’t. Don’t underestimate their opinions and don’t ignore their suggestions. With that being said, don’t allow yourself to be a chief of complaints either. While your team trusting you is truly an amazing thing to have, don’t let your team just complain to you without encouraging them to find solutions.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Even with the best roadmap for success, you won’t get the practice to where you want to overnight. Practice Management is a long game, and while some results will be immediate (and very encouraging), you may not see some of the trees you’re planting for a while. 

Prioritize. Too much to do or too big of a change can overwhelm you and everyone else. Tackle your projects and new ideas with everyone in mind. Pick quick simple wins in between bigger projects so you can celebrate them with your team- this will motivate everyone to keep pushing towards the goal.

Communicate. And communicate well. Encourage open communication between team members and the leadership team, and be open and honest while keeping confidential information what it is… confidential.

Set up weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings. You will be surprised how much good comes out of those quick check-ins.


We hope that this chunk of advice will help you help your Office Manager navigate through the rapid waters of practice management. 

As a bonus and a twist, in a true Dental A Team fun fashion we’d also like to invite you to re-read the above points once again because it so often happens that the advice we give to others is the advice we need to hear ourselves. 

We truly hope that you have found something valuable in this article to pass on to your Office Manager as well as take a moment to see how you can develop further as a leader.

Would you like to dive deeper into this topic? See what route would be best for you and your practice- schedule a call with us today!

For more tips, check out our podcast.

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