How workplace culture can determine turnover or retention in your dental practice

There's something to be said for workplace culture in dental practices. If there's disrespect, poor communication, and other problems, employees may not be a very contented bunch. The opposite is also true. A supportive environment leads to happy staff.

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There's something to be said for workplace culture in dental practices. If there's disrespect, poor communication, and other problems, employees may not be a very contented bunch. The opposite is also true. A supportive environment leads to happy staff.

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Today, the average person changes jobs 10 to 15 times (with an average of 12 job changes) during his or her career.(1) DENTAL TEAM MEMBERS OFTEN COMPLAIN about unmotivated or unhappy employees, but very few people go to work intending to be miserable. The work environment can motivate and create happiness, not the people who work in it.

This leads to the question, what is your office doing to retain good employees and create a happy work environment?

Here are six reasons people shared regarding why they are not happy at work.

1. They constantly feel overworked and underpaid.

2. They are not respected in the workplace. The language used in the office is either offensive or disrespectful.

3. Their workspace is not ergonomically sufficient, the equipment often breaks down, or they don’t have quality instruments. If they ask to have these things fixed, they’re met with resistance.

4. If the doctor feels like working late and beyond the work schedule, he or she does not respect employees’ personal time and makes them stay late also.

5. They are tired of dealing with office politics, especially the political and religious views. They say if they don’t have the same views, they risk getting ousted.

6. They don’t see things getting better anytime soon in the office, and they’ve lost confidence in the leadership. The oath, “Do no harm,” is morally and ethically lost.

Everyone deserves to be in a comfortable workplace where they, the patients, and the culture of service are all appreciated. All too often we are in a position in a practice where everyone is seen as replaceable, even if someone has dedicated years to their career.

Here are three ways leaders can retain good employees.

1. Be honest—No one wants to be lied to. If you say you’re going to do something for your employees, stick to your word. Losing the trust of your employees only jeopardizes a healthy practice.

2. Kindness is a virtue—If a leader expects everyone to be kind to patients and coworkers, then leaders are expected to be kind as well. Attitudes, whether good or bad, flow from the top to the bottom.

3. Embrace creativity—If you have an office environment that is organic and unforgettable, create a space where everyone can be creative and share new ideas. Everyone has their talents that they should be able to display without criticism. Remember, your patients have different personalities. Why shouldn’t your employees be embraced for their uniqueness?

Leaders need to be specific in expressing their appreciation to their employees so that positive behaviors are reinforced. Employees appreciate verbal praise, bonuses, and other perks, but ultimately, showing someone that you trust their opinion and expertise is, in many cases, far more valuable and appreciated.


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Erin Doffoney, RDH, BAS, brings skill, comfort, and care through dental hygiene to people who have had challenging dental experiences. Because there is no single approach for everyone, Erin has been trained in a range of modalities, including soft tissue management, paradigm shifts in technology, clinical behavior, and clinical verbiage and technique. She has a bachelor of applied science degree from Clayton College & State University, is dental hygiene board certified and licensed in Georgia and California, and holds certifications in local anesthesia, nitrous oxide, and curettage. Erin’s a member of the ADHA, National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), and a sponsor of AACD's Give Back a Smile program.

REFERENCE
1. https://www.thebalance.com/how-often-do-people-change-jobs-2060467

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