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Does it feel like your practice has a revolving door? Do employees come and go so frequently that you forget their names?  We're hearing from a number of practice owners that staffing remains an issue since 2020. Many have yet to reach full capacity since Covid rocked the nation, and the high turnover continues to break the bonds strong teams form. Shortages not only kill team morale, it directly affects your bottom line.

Getting to the root of an employee exodus or shortage can save you time, money, and the frustration that accompanies staff burnout and the need to constantly hire and retrain.

How does a workplace become plagued with high turnover and shortages?

When you’ve been in the workforce long enough, you know that a toxic culture dampens team morale, and it comes in many shapes and sizes.  

How does a toxic environment develop? 

While personality clashes contribute to issues, unfavorable workplaces are born out of one or both of these factors: resource constraints and/or lack of leadership. The common denominator of these factors is stress, and stress is exacerbated when teams are faced with staffing shortages paired with a lack of guidance on how to navigate packed days.  

Stress is a normal part of the workday, but left unchecked, it creates negative attitudes, hostility toward one another, and an all-around toxic office. It’s the perfect repellent for top talent and quality patients, so if that’s not your goal, you’ll want to take stock of your team’s health. Here are five ways you can measure staff's happiness, which directly affects productivity:

  1. Employee Surveys: Regular, anonymous surveys allow you to gather feedback about job satisfaction, culture, and overall contentment. Ask questions about workload, communication, work-life boundaries, recognition, and professional growth opportunities to better gauge their attitude toward your practice and colleagues. 
  2. One-on-One Meetings: Checking in on your team's well-being, and addressing concerns or challenges, allows you to build rapport while gaining insights into what's working and what needs attention. 
  3. Exit Interviews: Employees will leave, but before they do, gather feedback to understand their reasons. They can provide insights into areas of improvement and identify issues affecting team happiness.
  4. Performance + Productivity: Consistent assessment of team performance and productivity levels can help determine if there are any correlations between job satisfaction and job performance. Happy and fulfilled staff are more motivated, engaged, and productive in their roles.
  5. Quality of Patient Care: It's not surprising that happy employees take better care of their patients. And you can measure their service through patient feedback and reviews. Positive or negative responses are perfect indicators of staff happiness and job fulfillment. 

What does top talent (including your team) want?

DentalPost’s 2024 Salary Survey Report reveals that professionals seek work and thrive in environments that support:

  • Timely and regular pay increases 
  • A positive culture that encourages professional growth
  • A place where one’s work is appreciated (and everyone knows it)

Does this sound like your practice?

Aiming to create and maintain just one of these factors puts your practice in a better position to attract and retain top talent. Auditing your current team’s health, making changes to improve the culture, and checking in with them regularly goes a long way in creating and maintaining happy employees.  

Just like upgrading your patient attraction systems, you can upgrade your office systems to create an organized and well-led atmosphere people want to be a part of. And once things are moving in the right direction, you can employ a talent attraction system to start building your dream team.

Hundreds of doctors are attracting top talent using our strategies, so if you find the stresses of your office to be a bit too much, schedule a Practice Discovery Call with us. We’ll help you build the systems you need to attract all-star professionals who want to stay.

Be sure to check out our post, Office Culture & The Talent Exodus, that includes a link to our Staffing Up Made Simple Report.

If you like this topic and want more, check out DentalPost's blog, "5 Steps to Create a Positive Work Environment for Your Dental Front Office Team." Our sister company is the nation's largest job board for dental professionals.   

Updated May 2024


Written by Amplify360

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