Staffing poses the most significant issue for dental practices across the country. Employee burnout, dissatisfaction, and attractive opportunities elsewhere drive dental employees to leave their current practices in search of new positions.
Retaining your best team members is crucial for the long-term success of your practice. Read on to learn how to keep your best dental practice employees with strategies you can implement today.
Be a Leader Your Team Wants to Follow
Some aspects of employee retention seem basic, but they’re essential. Perhaps the most critical factor in keeping your best dental practice team members is your leadership. Be a leader your team wants to follow.
That means setting an example for how to treat patients, conduct ethical business practices, and assist fellow employees. A good leader doesn’t only lead; they listen and serve.
Cultivate an attractive leadership style, and your employees will be inclined to stay with your practice and be motivated to work hard to see your practice succeed.
Communicate Well and Often
In the fast-paced environment of a dentist’s office, you may go an entire day –– or week –– without speaking to certain team members. Larger practices are especially vulnerable in this area. When this happens, team members can feel disconnected, uninformed, and, at worst, disillusioned with how a practice is run.
To combat these feelings, communicate with your team often:
- Start the day with a quick huddle to say good morning and outline daily goals.
- Send out weekly emails with relevant updates and information.
- Make a point to seek out team members you haven’t spoken to in a day or so.
While these gestures may seem insignificant, intentional communication helps employees feel valued and informed, incentivizing them to stay with your practice.
Provide Growth Opportunities
Your best team members want –– and deserve –– opportunities to grow. Employees with growth opportunities are more invested in your practice and happier in their positions.
You can facilitate professional development in your dental practice by providing employee training, continued education, advancement opportunities, performance improvement, and day-to-day guidance and encouragement.
Help your employees set goals, then provide them with the resources to achieve them. Everyone will benefit from this proactive approach, and your team will have greater buy-in to your practice’s success.
Give Your Team the Tools They Need
Your employees can only perform in as much as they have the right tools and equipment. To ensure your best team members stay with your practice, provide them with the tools they need to do their jobs well.
That might mean investing in more modern equipment, assigning a staff member to regularly check inventories and keep supplies stocked, or even updating computers and software in your offices.
Create a Healthy, Enjoyable Work Environment
While interpersonal relationships are imperative to retaining your best employees, creating an enjoyable space is just as important. Your practice should be an environment where your team feels comfortable. After all, they spend much of their day at work.
You can create a healthy, enjoyable work environment in the following ways:
- Paint the walls in a welcoming, calming colors
- Maintain building cleanliness
- Provide an employee lounge for team members to take breaks and eat lunch
- Provide snacks and beverages for your staff
- Encourage your employees to take their breaks
- Provide generous PTO, and stress the importance of vacation and rest
A healthy work environment creates a balance between work and rest while prioritizing safety and comfort. By doing so, you show employees that you value their work, but you value their personhood as well.
Compensate Them Fairly
Payroll is your biggest expense. But when you think about that cost as an investment in a quality team, you’ll be happy to write monthly checks.
Fairly (and generously) compensated employees don’t tend to search for other jobs. Contrarily, they work harder where they are.
Conduct regular staff salary reviews. How do they compare to state and local averages? Do they reflect the growth and performance of the individual?
A team member’s compensation reflects their feelings of security and opportunity for growth. Pay your high-performing employees what they deserve, and they’ll feel valued and desire to stay with your practice.
Ask for Their Input
No dental practice can be successfully run by one person (or two or three people!) It takes a group of dedicated individuals to care for your patients properly: hygienists, assistants, and office staff all play a crucial role.
And remember, different team members have different perspectives and ideas on how your practice operates. Your office staff can notice issues in workflows that your hygienists may not –– and vice versa.
Your best employees will be aware of obstacles to excellence, whether in patient care, workflows, equipment issues, etc. Regularly ask them how your practice can improve.
And ask with sincerity, making it clear that you desire their honest opinions. Give them a voice, and they will become increasingly invested in their roles at your dental practice.
The Collection Process
Cash flow is essential for your dental practice –– and your employees –– to flourish. Without it, stress levels rise, and the quality of patient care declines. Your employees want security within a stable work environment. Optimizing your patient payment plans allows you to create steady cash flow, contributing to employee confidence and satisfaction.
Taking advantage of a patient financing firm like United Consumer Financial Services allows you to increase your patient load, maintain steady cash flow, and free your staff from the responsibility and burden of payment collection.
When your team is freed to focus on other responsibilities, they can more efficiently and effectively complete their tasks without the weight of payment collection on their shoulders. At the same time, your practice benefits from consistent cash flow, empowering you to grow.
Retaining Your Best Employees Starts Now
Employee retention is essential for any business, including your dental practice. By following the advice we’ve listed, you should have no problem holding on to the most valuable members of your team.
If you want to prioritize your team by partnering with a patient financing firm, contact UCFS today. We’re happy to start the conversation.