Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 01 Wise Up Wednesday 1

Wise-up Wednesday from Zane Benefits: 7 benefits your new dental practice needs

Feb. 25, 2015
Benefits are an important part of keeping the staff of your dental practice happy, and here are the most important benefits to offer according to Zane Benefits.
Aside from the sheer excitement of owning your own dental practice, there are a lot of other joys you’ll discover, including the benefits you offer your employees. Benefits are part of what make working for a dental practice such a pleasure, and because you opened recently, it’s important for you to make a good impression.

So, without further ado, here are seven of the best benefits you can offer the staff of your new dental practice. Each benefit is a way for you to show your employees you care, and that you want to help keep them healthy and happy.

But first, why do you need benefits?

Before I dive into benefits, it’s important to understand their value to your dental practice. Benefits serve many purposes, with the main one being recruiting and retaining your dental staff. In order to achieve success, you need well-trained, passionate employees who are dedicated to their work. The best way to bring these employees on board is to offer enticing benefits.

As such, keep in mind that the benefits you offer will directly affect the staff you acquire. What are the best benefits for your practice?

The 7 best benefits to offer your staff

1) Health care
When it comes down to it, the better your health care benefits, the happier your employees. According to a MetLife employee benefits study, 61% of employees who said they’re “very satisfied” with their company were satisfied because of the health benefits.

Having said that, two common health care benefits offered by small businessesare group health insurance, and premium reimbursement for individual health insurance. But what are they?

Group health insurance This is the traditional way employers offer health insurance. Your dental practice selects and purchases a group health insurance plan or plans. Employees choose whether or not they want to become part of your employer-provided group health insurance plan.

Premium reimbursement – A new way to think about employer health insurance is to provide employees an allowance for health insurance, such as a stipend or gift card. With this approach, your dental practice provides its employees with a health insurance allowance or "contribution" to spend on their individual health care – at an annual cost that the company controls. Employees choose and purchase the health care plan that works best for them, pay for the plan with their own money, then are reimbursed for their premium up to the amount the employer has specified.

2) Schedule flexibility
With the tight schedule your dental practice runs on, a flexible schedule can seem impossible, but it’s not. If planned correctly, you and your staff are able to fit important occasions into your daily work schedule, both expected and unexpected. Because taking time off without pay can be a financial strain if an unforeseen event should arise, it’s important to let your employees have the time off they need, with pay.

Of course it’s important to be flexible within reason. The No. 1 concern for your and your staff are your patients, so plan around their schedules as best you can. However, always keep your employees’ health and personal lives in the front of your mind.

3) Family focus
Speaking of flexible schedules, employees love spending time with their families. A family-focused dental practice that allows employees to spend plenty of time with their families as a benefit is always appreciated. Your staff members will love being able to make it to their family’s important events and occasions. Furthermore, your staff will be happier when realize that you care about more than simply their professional lives.

4) Continuing education reimbursement
Education is imperative to your dental practice, and many of your employees will want to further their education during their time as your employee. So if your budget allows, help your staff continue their education.

Employees who embody a balance of work experience and education can be extremely successful in your dental practice. Also, employee development is important to employee retention and company culture. The value of education is immeasurable to your staff and dental practice.

5) Overtime
Most employees realize there will be days they need to work longer-than-usual hours. But paying them for those extra hours will make their time worth it. Offer overtime to your dental staff. Why? Employees who are paid on salary and work for “free” past 40 hours generally don’t like the idea. As the national workweek average is 47 hours, your employees will greatly appreciate overtime pay.

6) Sick days
Working in a dental office, you and your employees will work closely with a lot of patients in a day, and many of them will be sick. Which brings up an important employee benefit – sick days.

Many employers offer sick days, but they count them as a regular day off. Doing this will deter your staff from taking a day to recuperate and can result in many sick employees, as well as decreased productivity. Offer your staff separate sick days to use throughout the year. This is part of helping your employees stay healthy and will keep others from catching the illness, too.

7) Stay fit program
Part of staying healthy is exercise. Since some of your dental staff don’t get to move around as much as they’d like during the day, a good way to keep them active is to implement a stay fit program. This can be as simple as buying or discounting gym memberships for employees who would like to use this benefit. Your employees will be healthier, more active, and generally more productive if they feel well.

Benefits serve as a way to keep your dental staff on your team, healthy, and happy. Though some benefits such as health care and sick days are among the most important, keep in mind that the more thoughtful the benefits are that you offer, the more likely your employees will want to establish their careers at your dental practice.

To learn more, download the free guideThe Dental Practice's Guide to Human Resources.”

Business basics for starting your own dental practice
Why health benefits are important to you and your dental staff
10 business management tips for dentists

Wise-up Wednesday is presented bimonthly from the experts at Zane Benefits. One Wednesday a month features Human Resource issues, and the other Wednesday discusses health benefits. Want more HR and business development tips for your dental practice? Download the free guide “The Dental Practice's Guide to Individual Health Insurance Reimbursement.”