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How To Maximise Workplace Learning Investment

28 Oct 2018

There was a time (not so long ago) when most dental teams worked hard, cared about their patients and selected their ongoing training on that basis. Today quality management obligations from within the dental sector and from patients have formalised post-qualification ongoing training requirements.

To be successful, businesses practices need to become learning practices and to understand the need for workplace learning designed to engage and motivate the team. Since some types of training inhibit learning and engagement it is important that learning opportunities are carefully selected. 

For qualified and registered dental professionals workplace learning embraces a wide range of learning opportunities. These should be generated or stimulated by the needs of the workplace. Targeted learning can be delivered through mixture of learning formats, for dental teams this includes:

  • Formal on-the-job training – new techniques and reflective practice
  • Informal learning – reading journals and networking
  • Work-related off-the-job education – workshops and conferences
  • Training to meet formal CPD requirements

So that all learning opportunities have recognised, practical patient care outcomes, a learning plan is needed to define:

  • Areas that need to be strengthened
  • CPD requirements
  • The gap between what people do and their expected performance levels

Having identified learning needs, the practice must think in terms of encouraging people to actively learn in every activity they pursue. This requires managers to develop the ability to ‘breath fresh life’ into traditional methods of learning needs identification such as:

Skills Audit

A skills audit can be used to determine the skills (knowledge, skills and attitudes) for each team member. This requires a carefully drafted questionnaire to determine the level and range of knowledge and experience. It is often a self-reporting mechanism, with input being given solely by the individual being skill audited.

Performance appraisals

At performance appraisal interviews, opportunities for improvement are identified and can be incorporated into a person’s personal development plan (PDP). These are discussed with the line manager after they and the interviewee have had an opportunity to contribute to the process.

On-the-job assessment

This is where employees are observed on the job and assessed against certain criteria – the knowledge and/or skills gaps are then incorporated into a training plan.

These are all useful tools which, when used together, can provide very valuable information.

There are many types of learning activities to fill performance gaps. Sometimes training and development is done on an individual basis and at other times, done as a team. This may be formal or informal.

Teams and individuals need to learn in ways that best suit their learning styles. Off-the-job training courses are appropriate if provided by qualified training and development specialists.

Learning can also take place on-the-job, such as in the examples below.


Coaches and Mentors

Peers or senior staff, with or without content expertise, can assist a person in unlocking their potential to increase performance.


Learning contracts

An agreement is reached about learning goals and how these are to be achieved. Sometimes this learning takes place during a training course but more often than not it takes place on the job, under the guidance of a skilled trainer, manager or consultant.


Computer-based learning courses

These include programs and courses which may be put on a computer, delivered via CD ROM or the Internet. They are normally supplemented with action-learning exercises and on-the-job activities.

Such learning activities can be costly in terms of money and time, so it is reasonable to want to see a good return on this investment and to ensure that the practice’s training efforts are correctly placed. There are a range of psychometric tests available to define the learning styles of individuals and then a learning specialist can match learning opportunities for dental teams to meet the expectations of their regulating bodies.

If you would access to a free Team Learning Guide Sheet to define the best learning opportunities for your team, please email glenys@glenys-bridges.co.uk

Testimonials

Having been employed as a head dental nurse for many years, I'd reached a point in my career where it was 'make or break'. I was struggling to find a potential employer whom would take me seriously in wanting to progress into practice management and had numerous unsuccessful interviews. I found Glenys Bridges Dental Practice Management course online and thought I would give it a go. Little did I realise at the time of enrolling that this course would open up new doors for myself and give me the knowledge and confidence to succeed into practice management. As the course progressed, so did my confidence. I looked forward to my tutorials and the course is set out in a way which tackles each topic in an order which is easy to digest. I can honestly say that this course was the turning point in my career and I am now the proud practice manager of a lovely orthodontic practice. I love my new role and am utilising many things learnt in the course such as people management and business planning. I cannot thank Glenys Bridges enough for her support and feel very lucky to have had such a knowledgeable mentor.

Shelley Lord

The course was very specific and has a lot off new informations to me and I really enjoyed reading the notebook. * the high point was when I reach to know about the different types of management theories and the hierarchy theory. * I really gained a lot off new informations about the management styles and the main differences between management and leadership. * The tutor was very easygoing and as non English native speaker the tutor was very clear when she was explaining to me and in all classes that I had and she was happy to answer all my enquires. * I think I got all the support to finish my course with a good understanding and a good amount of knowledge. * I like to say thank you for your great support and care and I hope to join the next level of course as soon as I can.

Issa Al Husaini , Introduction to Practice Management (Induction Course)

I have found the Team Lead Dental Nurse skills a really useful training course. Becki has been a great support throughout the course with regular contact sessions. Not only has she given me support and advise through the course but also on a personal level giving me examples and support on a real life basis within my job role. Which I found helpful during the first few weeks of me new position.

RP, Advanced Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses -S 1

I now have more confidence with distance learning after doing this introduction course. I am looking forward to working with Glenys in the future. Many thanks.

Michelle Hammond, Introduction Operational Dental Practice Management

I am doing a Level 3 Advanced Diploma in Dental Practice Management with Rebecca Morris. I'm really enjoying the course so far, I am currently working my way through my second unit of work, after achieving 100% on my unit 1. The support provided by Becki every week is just brilliant, she explains everything I need to know in order to complete my course work. The regular phone calls keeps motivation throughout the process. I'm also finding the course is already taking effect in day to day work, which is extremely useful! Overall brilliant course and amazing tutor!

Sarah Toye, Advanced Supervisory Dental Practice Management Skills S3

For me being new to the management field, this course has opened my mind to new thinking ways and leadership styles .. it was easy to digest and clear to follow specially having Becki my tutor, thing wear smooth as she was very supportive and always available to be contacted..

Yassmen Al lawati Sr. dental nurses ( conscious sedation), Introduction to Practice Management (Induction Course)

The course was well designed with lots of content useful to lead dental nurses. Being able to work independently but knowing there was support in the form of course notes and tutor backup. Glenys was very accommodating -offering tutorials and very prompt feedback via email. I am already implementing some of the advice & information I received. I can not fault the support I received and would highly recommend it to friends and colleagues.

SP, Advanced Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses- S2 HEE

Absolutely loving the course so far and I have put into practice everything I have learnt , Edita is a fantastic tutor and puts her heart and soul into teaching.Looking forward to the next part of the course

HH, Advanced Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses -S 1

I have really enjoyed the course and it as helped me a lot in the day to day running of a happy practice

lynn major, Advanced Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses- S2 HEE

I came on the course feeling very nervous about it. I am not the most confident person but day one was raelly positive. I was introduce to Glenys and all the other girls on the course. The day was great and i came away with so much positive information. I took a while to get my work completed for unit 1 but with the help of Glenys and being able to communicate with her through either email or sms i was able to get the support i needed. This continued for me right through to unit 4 with great support. I thouroughlt enjoyed attended the courses even though at times the work load was intense for me i got through it and i am so happy and proud of myself.

Laura Whelan, Advanced Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses- S2 HEE

I thought the course was very informative and value for money. I feel much more confident in my role than i did before. I felt my tutor was amazing, she was so supportive of me and believed in me when i did not believe in myself. I would recommend this course to all dental nurses as its content and structure is faultless, and will give you the confidence you need to be a great leader.

Heidi , Introduction to Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses- Home.

The course is well laid out and practical in terms of the skills required for Practice Management. This has given me valuable learning in order to go ahead and have the understanding about how to tackle situations that arise in management. Glenys is always supportive and offers sound and easy to understand advice and guidance. I would recommend this course to anyone hoping to pursue a position in Practice Management or to support anyone currently within the role.

Jo Wrigglesworth, Level 4 Dental Practice Management

I am part way through my course and I am really enjoying it. I find it challenging at times but it really gets me thinking about different managing techniques and how I can incorporate them into my own work to eventually become an excellent practice manager. My tutor is Becki Morris and she has been fantastic from the start. Becki offers me round the clock support and always replies to me right away. As I am doing this course along side working full time it can sometimes be difficult to fit in our sessions or for me to complete the work some weeks, Becki always works round me and understands this making it less stressful for me. I am looking forward to completing my course and will definitely train with Glenys Bridges again.

Emma Jordan-Smith, Advanced Supervisory Dental Practice Management Skills S3

For me I did not find this course easy because I do have concentration issues, BUT also I lacked a lot of confidence and I didn’t have help from 1 person other than my tutor edita she was absolutely amazing and so understanding and patients I could not have asked for more. Thank you from all of my heart Samantha ☺️

Samantha Michaels

Completed the team leading skills for Dental Nurses which was led by Glenys Bridges, this course has been a big help to me within my practice, i have learnt many skills and been able manage my team more efficiently. Glenys was exceptionally helpful and informative and made the days run smoothly and quickly.

Dawn , Advanced Team Leading Skills for Dental Nurses- S2 HEE

I have just completed the care coordination course with Edita, who was absolutely brilliant from start to finish. She gave me the confidence to believe I was able to keep going, even in the areas I found tricky. The course has developed my skills and confidence and will be used in my day to day work life.

Christine , Higher Skills in Dental Care Coordination

very good course, had all the help and support that i needed plus more! Really feel like I have benefited from the course.

Georgia Fowle, Introduction to Dental Reception Skills

the course was very interesting and I have improved my reception skills majorly from completing the course. It also helped me grow with confidence within the work place. The support I received was all that i needed plus more, really couldn't have asked for a better tutor throughout the course.

GF, Introduction to Dental Reception Skills

I have started my career in dental nursing 5 years ago and I considered working as a treatment coordinator for a while but it took me longer that I was hoping due to the lack of information for this career path. When I started my new job as a treatment coordinator, I knew that I have to enroll a course as soon as possible. Little did I knew that this course was going to be so much more than just guidance! The course it's so well structured and it has covered so much more that I thought it would! Edita is an absolute amazing teacher who is flexible to the student's needs and she is so supportive. We need more teachers like her and she has inspired me to work even harder. I have recently finished the course and although I am very proud to be a qualified care coordinator, I miss working with Edita so I will enroll another course with her soon to further develop my role in the practice.

Dorina, Higher Skills in Dental Care Coordination

I found this course really helpful. All of the information was relevant and relatable and I can definitely apply this to my day to day job role. Both Glenys and Edita were knowledgeable and helpful throughout. I would highly recommend this course.

Nikki Metcalf, Introduction to Team Leading for Dental Nurses- Workshop

I found this course really helpful. All of the information was relevant and relatable and I can definitely apply this to my day to day job role. Both Glenys and Edita were knowledgeable and helpful throughout. I would highly recommend this course.

Nikki Metcalf, Introduction to Team Leading for Dental Nurses- Workshop

Dear Genys and Edita, The course, Introduction to Team Leading was extremely informative and the approach/teaching was very professional. The one day worship help me recognise differences between being a Manager and Team Leader, and give me an opportunity to gain initial knowledge how to communicate and inspire Dental Nurse Team. I am very keen to enhance my skills and knowledge in this direction.

AB, Introduction to Team Leading for Dental Nurses- Workshop

The course was very educational and my teacher was very helpful and she was guiding me step by step to make sure that everything was going well. I wish to continue my education courses soon with Glenys bridges . Wish you all best .

Issa Al Husaini , Introduction to Practice Management (Induction Course)

This course as a whole has been invaluable to me and I have my tutor Edita to thank for all of it – throughout the entire time Edita has been an enormous support, she is highly competent in what she does and has taken the time to thoroughly explain things when needed – I have felt at ease throughout the entire course knowing she is there for me any time I needed her and with her positive feedback she has made me feel completely confident in my abilities moving forward in my role – again a huge thank you to Glenys Bridges for the course but an added thank you to Edita for all your time, effort and support 😊

Jess Vivyan, Advanced Supervisory Dental Practice Management Skills S3

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07973 361 390

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Glenys Bridges & Partners
Practice Pathways

24 Farnworth Grove
Castle Bromwich
Birmingham
B36 9JA
United Kingdom