CIO shares that “employee retention is fast becoming a key competitive differentiator. A company’s ability to hold on to its talent — especially in tight hiring markets — has profound ramifications for its ability to operate at a high level, without the disruptions that employee turnover bring.”
In short, the primary focus of dental employers and employers in general in 2022 should be retention, not recruitment. This might go against your traditional methods, but satisfaction within your current team must be high before you can effectively bring in new personnel.
Studies have shown that happy employees lead to lower staff turnover rates. And implementing creative perks and benefits—such as opportunities for professional development, flexible working arrangements, competitive salaries and benefits, and positive company culture—is one way to show your team you care. Of course, don’t forget to celebrate their successes along the way—verbal appreciation and recognition go a long way in developing lasting relationships and loyalties.
Here are five benefits to offer your dental team for better retention.
1. Increased Opportunities for Professional Development
Employees in the dental field are often ambitious, career-motivated, and search for opportunities for professional development. Education cannot be an afterthought—it must be a core focus of any trustworthy company or dental practice. Employees want to know that they are constantly learning and growing in their roles.
As a dentist or dental owner, offering opportunities for professional development shows your team that you value their growth and want to help them improve their skills. It is an investment in your employees that shows you value them and is a powerful incentive for retention. Professional development can be in educational courses, attending industry events, or even providing resources to help them learn independently. It is essential to understand that education is the key to advancing your dental practice and the field of dentistry itself.
Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, dating back to 7000 BC. Human remains from the Indus Valley civilization display holes in teeth created intentionally by ancient drills. In the 21st century, dentistry has continued to evolve, integrating the fields of airway and sleep as we better understand our oral anatomy. Along with this evolution comes the need for intelligent and capable individuals to drive the science of dentistry forward. By educating your staff, you’re doing good for them and the world, increasing their loyalties and fostering better retention.
2. Flexible Working Arrangements
Today’s employees want a more flexible working arrangement, such as the ability to work from home occasionally or job-sharing options. Offering these types of arrangements lets your employees know that you trust them to get their work done, even if they’re not in the office. It can also help reduce stress and increase work-life balance.
While the remote work model isn’t practical for dental offices, as you must be present to care for patients, there are other ways to incorporate flexibility into your practice to show employees that you’re willing to work with them and their schedules. The corporate culture in America has workers burned out, stressed out, and unable to complete their job with efficiency and satisfaction. Your staff will flourish by placing extra emphasis and value on creating a well-balanced work and home life with added flexibility.
Consider offering more part-time positions, increasing the number of PTO days each calendar year, and increasing the number of paid maternity and paternity leave days. This open-mindedness will showcase your modern outlook and understanding of employees’ wants and needs.
3. Competitive Salaries and Benefits
Life in the 21st century is costly—with lofty mortgages, a rising cost of living, and boosting taxes. Therefore, employees are more money-minded than ever before and demand fair wages that stand up to the competition. It’s no secret that employees are attracted to companies that offer competitive salaries and benefits. Competitive pay increases retention and helps keep employee morale up, and boosts performance and production. If you want to retain your leading talent, you must ensure that your pay and perks are up to par. This may include 401(k) matching, health insurance, dental coverage, and sick leave.
Consider this situation: there are two nearly identical dental job opportunities. One offers more pay and better benefits than the other. Which one do you think the employee will take? The answer is obvious: the better-paying opportunity. In short, provide competitive salaries and benefits to your dental staff or risk losing them to your competitors.
4. A Positive Company Culture
Positive company culture is another critical factor in employee retention, especially in dentistry. Dental work is mentally and physically taxing. Your team wants to feel appreciated and supported by their colleagues and managers. They also want to feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves—a team working towards a common goal. Creating a positive company culture can be as simple as hosting team-building activities, providing feedback and recognition, and setting an example yourself.
Open the door to your employees, hold a brainstorming session, and ask them what they want from you and your dental practice. How can you create a better employee experience? What activities or events would boost morale?
Additionally, it is an excellent idea to send out an anonymous survey to allow your staff to address any concerns they might have. Once you receive the responses, take immediate action. This shows that you are an attentive, action-oriented leader who values their input and wants the best for them.
5. Career Development Opportunities
Last but not least, career development opportunities are a huge draw for employees. They want to know that there is potential for growth within their current role and that they have the opportunity to develop their skills and expand their knowledge. Offering career development opportunities lets your team know that you are a leader who’s invested in their long-term success. Promoting from within also provides a clear path for employees to more significant compensation and responsibilities.
Employees are looking for companies that offer a variety of benefits to help improve their quality of life. By providing your team with these five benefits, you can help reduce turnover and keep your top talent happy and engaged.