The Magic Formula of Systems, Training, and People

Roger P. Levin, DDS
practice revenue


Over the last 18 months we have had many inquiries from dentists about how to hire and maintain team members. Staffing is the number one challenge facing dentistry today and this could last for up to 10 years. Without delving into the reasons for the staffing shortage and changing behaviors of employees, the key to solving this challenge is understanding how to attract and grow an outstanding team. Practices that can create well performing and stable teams will be able to achieve the key objective of increasing practice revenue every year.

There are three components of the formula used by practices that are successful at attracting, keeping, and growing their team members.  Properly implemented, these three components will enhance team performance and grow practice revenue.  The added benefit is that a high-performing team creates a positive practice environment with low stress and low fatigue.

It always comes down to three things. Systems, training, and people.

  1. Systems

Systems are the backbone of any practice. Just imagine a defense contractor trying to build a tank without explicit step-by-step systems, guidelines, measurements, and understanding of performance. It simply can’t be done. The same is true for any critical component in any field.

People are not equipment, but they do need the same type of systems to perform at the proper level and achieve the objectives. Systems are step-by-step, documented, and proven models that can be followed by any individual with reasonable competency. As practice leaders, dentists, and office managers must implement step-by-step documented proven systems. This allows the team to learn and grow. Without systems, all the training, inspiration, motivation available will not make a difference. Your team simply cannot train and go to higher levels unless systems are in place.

  1. Training

Once systems have been implemented into the practice (which requires approximately 12 months to do properly), then the systems allow the team to be trained. Dentistry, for much of its history, has provided mostly on the job training, which is slow, incomplete, and frustrating. Today, any good business knows that better approach is documented systems and a training program. This doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive.  The key to training the team is to introduce to the documented systems and ask them to simply follow the steps. Once a person knows what to do, they don’t need to be managed, but to gauge performance they do need to be measured. Measurements can be used for positive feedback, motivation, or opportunities for improvement.

  1. People

At the end of the day, businesses are made up of people.  Asking someone to do their job without systems and training is like asking someone with a broken leg to walk or run faster. They simply can’t do it, nor should they be asked to.  A team member who is supported by proven systems and proper training will excel – you can count on that.

All staff member issues come down to one of three things – systems, training and people. By implementing the information outlined here, you can literally revolutionize your practice and take it to much higher levels, increasing your practice revenue in the process.

You will also develop a team of people who are committed, enjoy the practice, and want to contribute.


Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written more than 60 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.

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