What women want … from their dental employer

It's not as difficult to please women employees as many dentist bosses may think. Helping people is many women's primary motivation, which coincides nicely with a dental practice. A little job security and teamwork doesn't hurt either.

Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2015 08 Happy Women 1

In my more than 30 years as a dental consultant, I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know dentists as well as their team members. I’ve helped struggling practices become thriving practices, and I’ve taught dentists the importance of surrounding themselves with motivated team members who want to help the practice succeed.

Part of motivating your team members is knowing what they want most out of their job. That’s why we have all employees fill out a confidential online questionnaire before sending a consultant into their practice. Employees are asked to rank 12 words from 1 to 12 based on what they want and work for the most.

McKenzie Management recently compiled responses from women dental employees to get a pulse on what they really want from their jobs. The results include responses from dental assistants, front office managers, scheduling coordinators, hygienists, collections coordinators, hygiene coordinators, and financial coordinators.

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Here’s an in-depth look at the top five areas of job satisfaction women dental employees listed as most important, how to improve those areas in the practice, and a complete ranking of all 12 areas.

1. Helping people – It shouldn’t be surprising that helping people is what women dental employees want most from their jobs. Why? The No. 1 female employee personality type is ESFJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, which means these employees are warmly interested in others and love being around and helping people.

If you want to develop a strong team, you need to hire people with the right personalities for the various positions in the practice. People who take jobs that don’t match their temperament end up miserable and unproductive. To ensure you make the right hiring decisions, McKenzie Management recommends asking applicants to complete a temperament testbefore extending an offer.

2. Job security ­– Women team members want to know their job isn’t going anywhere, and that they work for a successful practice that patients are proud to call their dental home.

Offering your team members the training and tools they need to excel in their roles will help them feel more secure in their positions.

Sit down with team members to set individual goals that complement the practice’s goals, and to let them know what role they play in helping the practice reach its full potential. This will make them more confident and efficient, and they’ll spend more time focusing on improving their performance rather than worrying about losing their job.

3. Teamwork –
Women employees want to feel like they’re part of a team. It’s important for them to be able to count on each other, without worrying about petty gossip or conflict getting in the way. Don’t get me wrong. Even the best teams must deal with conflict from time to time. The key is how the dentist addresses it.

If there are problems within the staff, you should talk with those involved right away. The conflict cannot simply be ignored and expected to disappear or the team will lose focus on the practice’s success. You need to work with the team to find a solution before it festers and gets out of control. This will not only help encourage teamwork among employees, it will help reduce turnover. No one wants to work in a practice full of tension and anger.Address problems right away and encourage your employees to work together as a team.

4. Paycheck ­– Yes, female employees want to get paid for their hard work, but they also want the opportunity to advance and earn raises. Performance measurements should be included in every job description, and it should be clear how employees are able to earn a bump in pay. Performance measurements will motivate team members to take ownership of the systems they’re accountable for and to excel in their roles. That not only keeps the team happy, it will help boost practice production numbers and your bottom line.

5. Satisfaction – Female employees aren’t interested in just going through the motions. Women want to feel like they’ve accomplished something at the end of the day, and that means they need guidance and feedback from you.

This starts with a detailed job description that outlines your expectations and makes performance measurements clear. It’s also important for you to give employees regular feedback – both good and bad – so they know what they’re doing right and what areas need improvement. Trust me, this will go a long way in giving women employees the job satisfaction they’re after, while also improving their performance.

Curious where the other areas of job satisfaction ranked? Here’s 6 through 12:
6. Appreciation
7. Growth
8. Continual learning
9. Involvement
10. Clear performance goals
11. Challenging work
12. Recognition

A strong team is vital to your practice’s success, but to create that team you have to know what motivates them. This list should give you some insight into what women employees value most, and guidance to help improve their work experience. If you’d like more advice, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m happy to help.

Sally MckenzieSally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management, which offers educational and management products available at mckenziemgmt.com. Contact her directly at (877) 777-6151 or sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com.

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