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Dealing with Turnover in Your Dental Practice

Dealing with Turnover in Your Dental Practice

Turnover is inevitable. It is something that we have to accept as part of owning and running a business and no industry is immune. There are thousands of studies about the financial impact of having to replace employees, not to mention the stress it places on the team. I’ve put together a list of tips that will help you keep your sanity and increase your chances of finding the right person for the job.

Don’t let it get you down: You won’t always hire the prefect person, so don’t go into a panic or depression when someone quits or you have to fire someone. It can sometimes feel like a personal failure for the person that hired the “wrong” team member, but accept that you do not have a crystal ball of hiring.

Check references: I have to admit, this is something I frequently skipped over during the hiring process, mainly because I was too busy and in a hurry to get a warm body in the building. When I did finally start checking on them, I was surprised at the responses. Keep in mind there are many restrictions on what you can and cannot ask. Check with state and federal laws, but you can confirm the dates during which they were employed. I highly recommend using an HR service for everything employee related, especially during the onboarding process – it will make your life a lot easier.

Orientation and SOPs: I can’t say enough about Standard Operating Procedures. Every office should have a set for each department and they should be a part of the new employee orientation. But wait – who has time for orientation? I get it, but I think you should reconsider. You will be going over all the duties, training and giving a detailed description of what is going to be required of them. If you skip this, both parties are headed for surprises down the road. They may even be asked to do something they don’t know anything about!

Where are you looking for candidates? Don’t get me wrong, Craigslist is great, but we both know you get a huge list of resume’s with no relevant experience no matter what you write in that listing! Try Dentalpost.net or Indeed.com. These are sites that require applicants to create a profile and actually put in some work to finding a job. As an employer it allows you access to personality assessments, among other features not available on other sites.

Benefit packages: Money isn’t everything and certain types of benefits can prove this. I’m not saying swanky parties and daily lunches are in order, but there are certain types of benefits that mean more than money to employees. Access to health insurance, paid holidays and time off, and having fun in the workplace are a few, but the most important is that employees feel valued. If someone isn’t happy, don’t throw money at the problem – instead find out why they are not happy.

Before you hire the first semi-qualified applicant that comes your way because you are desperate, try these tips and hang in there while you carefully make your decision. Temp agencies exist for a reason and even admin duties can be outsourced temporarily. The big picture is to take steps to prevent turnover from happening in the first place, and that takes patience…and sometimes the help of a professional!

Bridget Fay, BBA
Senior Consultant
Odyssey Management

One comment

  1. All are very true especially the ‘Oriention & SOP’. My husband spent 20 yrs in military and SOP was mentioned a lot. I work in an office, will not do an SOP, much less an Office Manual/Benefit package. They don’t want things in writing, oh no, because they can change anything on an employee/o notice. Some procedures have written been placed in a notebook but that about it.

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