Keys to Retaining Your Dental Office Staff

Dental practitioners and dental offices nationwide have been struggling with a lack of growth over the past few years and the unfortunate repercussions have been surfacing more and more. Managers have had to deal with the plateau in several ways, from reducing pay, freezing salaries, removing benefits, reducing hours or laying off employees altogether.
Times are tough, but the last thing a manager needs to deal with is losing employees due to certain financial constraints. Training new hires can be costly and time consuming. There are a few strategies one can employ to ensure optimal performance and employee retention during the rocky seas ahead.

Build Upon Goals
Your employees will typically have ambitions and ideas for bolstering the day-to-day processes of the average work day. Talk to your employee about what their goals are career-wise and how they might be cultivated to increase office productivity. Discuss the possibility of additional training. Encourage your employee to strive for these goals and outline possible means to their accomplishing them.

Review Process and Practice
Morale cannot be sustained if your team members can't be kept on the same page. Team building meetings, tracking and reviewing process; these are great ways to streamline procedures actively used around the office and plug the leaks that are most often identified. Anybody in an office environment should be able to notice when communication is falling short. Use these team meetings to positively encourage ideas and advice from the staff. When employees feel that their voices are being hear, their willingness to stay on board and be a part of the team is reinforced.

Lead by Example
You want to provide a positive office environment for your staff. Employees look to the people in charge as a beacon of solidarity. If that beacon starts crumbling, the staff will crumble along with it. The best way to lead is to lead by example. Keep your attitude optimistic, keep communication open and civil. If a problem seems to be lurking beneath the surface, or if rumors are starting to make their way around the office staff about the state of things, institute a truthful alternative as quickly as possible, and ensure the team that you can all power through when times get tough.

And remember the value of positive reinforcement. It's easy to get on a staff member's case when mistakes are made, but employees do great things for the office all the time. Make sure that they are aware that you acknowledge good work when you see it. The last thing you want your employees feeling is that they're treading water for payroll checks and not much else.

Plan Activities Outside the Office
Interaction and trust among employees can be improved without much effort when camaraderie exists outside the 9 to 5. Plan events outside of the office: picnics, BBQs, trips to the beach or a local pool. It gives the staff a break, a chance to cut loose, and feel that there is more to the office than just work work work.

It's certainly an undertaking keeping a staff motivated in tough times. All it takes is one disgruntled employee to walk away out of frustration before the cohesion of the entire office begins to give way. But the most important thing you can do is maintain a positive and encouraging attitude, even during the hard times. Your staff may take more notice of your behavior than you may realize.

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