We found todays post on DigitalJournal.com, written by Shawna Aho over at www.stacbiz.com in Houston, TX and we just had to share it as we know turnover continues to be something dental practices struggle with.
First, just a warning. Im going to start off with a bit of a negative tone with this post. However, it comes from a place of caring by fully understanding the impact that unwanted turnover can have on your practice, my hope is that youll be motivated to take the proper steps to address it. So lets get past the negative realities and well move on to the POSITIVE solutions!
Without a doubt. high turnover in your dental practice can have severe negative consequences. It can disrupt the continuity of patient care, erode trust, and damage your practices reputation. Frequent staff changes can lead to decreased productivity, as new hires require training and time to acclimate. Moreover, its costly, with recruitment and training expenses adding up. High turnover also affects employee morale, creating an atmosphere of instability and stress. Ultimately, it can compromise the quality of service, hinder practice growth, and make it challenging to build long-term patient relationships. OUCH!
To thrive, you must prioritize retention strategies and create a stable, supportive work environment. So what can you do about this?
Here are 5 steps you can take now to reduce the sting of unwanted turnover:
1. Provide strong and inspiring leadership
Poor leadership consistently tops the list of why employees leave. There seems to be a lot of truth in the saying that people dont leave their jobs they leave their bosses.
Weve all had the experience: youre feeling a bit under the weather, the alarm rings, and youre faced with a choice: struggle out of bed and make it to work against your best judgment or stay put.
Your choice is often determined by your boss. Youre much more likely to stay in bed if you dont give two hoots about him or her. So, unless youre able to staff your practice with competent leaders, this mentality spreads across the entire organization. Are your leaders providing the support, guidance, and mentoring that employees look for?
Do they have the emotional intelligence and people management skills to reallyleadtheir team or are they in a leadership position based purely on technical skills and experience?
Its worth noting that its theperceptionof your employees that counts here. For example, you may think you have the greatest office manager on the planet, but if his/her team members are heading out the door in droves, it could be the first place to look.
2. Pay strict attention to employee needs
Unless you have a system of gathering employee feedback, you probably dont understand the needs of your employees. You may think you do but in reality, its just guesswork.
An annual performance review is not going to cut it. Face-to-face meetings between leaders and employees need to be frequent, forward-looking, and based on constructive ideas for development; rather than infrequent, based on past performance, and only considering KPIs.
Unless there is an effective feedback system in place, you may never know when problems are brewing before its too late and people start heading for the doors. In short, get closer to your employees.
3. Develop career paths and opportunities for growth
Unless you offer your employees a realistic opportunity of advancement, they will quickly try to find an organization that does. A perceived dead end job with lack of opportunities for development is highly de-motivational and generally gets people looking around, sooner or later.
People want to grow and develop themselves this is natural within all of us. Once you understand your employees goals, its important as leaders to help develop people and set them on the right path to achieve these goals. In professional terms, this means some sort of career path.
Its considered unfashionable in some quarters to stay with a company for an entire career nowadays and its true that job hopping is much easier than it used to be. But many companies seem to encourage talent drain by not providing a compelling enough reason for employees to stay. People require direction, hope for the future, meaning in their work, recognition, opportunity, and challenge these are all strong motivators.
4. Provide more flexibility
People are more aware than ever of the importance of their own wellbeing. They realize that sedentary lifestyles and stress contribute to a range of other factors in leading to poor health.
Many employees are looking for more flexible work arrangements that allow them to strike a better work-life balance. For some, this may mean leveraging technology to work from home one or more days per week. When this isnt possible (for a hygienist, for example), offering alternate work schedules like a 4-day work-week might be valuable.
Rather than asking your employees to sacrifice personal needs to fulfil the requirements of the job, take a fresh look and see if there are ways you can design the job around changing lifestyles that are more mobile, flexible and geared towards healthy living.
5. Focus on improving your workplace culture
Do you promote a culture of recognition, accountability, engagement, transparency, reward, positivity, and success or do your people cast envious glances towards the competition?
In some workplace cultures, the opposite dominates: silos develop and conflict, secrecy, fear, threat, and negativity all lead to de-motivation, which in turn leads to a decline in both performance and the employee experience of actually coming to work.
Your top team members naturally gravitate towards positivity and harmony and are unlikely to hang around in an environment they perceive as toxic or harmful to their growth.
Build teams that cultivate a positive culture through connectivity, empowerment, engagement, and a sense of fun.
As a dental practice owner, its important to realize youll always have some level of turnover. But surprisingly to many, money is not usually the main reason for leaving. Its obvious that you should be paying employees well for the work they do; and you cant do much about employees leaving to go traveling, fulfilling a long-held ambition, starting a family or moving to the other side of the country.
However, many of the main reasons for employees leaving can be addressed at the source by every practice owner. Resist the temptation to think that high staff turnover is simply a sign of the times; with the immediate and temporary nature of social media, some business owners accept poor staff retention as the new norm. They believe that people are simply job hoppers nowadays. However, as a leader you can take action to stop the talent drain: by focusing on the above five actions, you will start to close the gap between where you want to be and where you actually are now.
I hope you enjoy this article!