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The Secret to Happy Dental Employees: Avoiding Turnover in Your Practice

October 8th, 2007 · No Comments

Turnover is a big issue in many dental offices. How can you keep your team happy and productive for the long term? First, take solace in the fact that all workplaces struggle with staff turnover. Across the board (not just in dentistry), a lack of social support for men and a lack of decision-making authority for women are leading causes of depression, according to a recent University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry study. The British Medical Journal (2006) discussed the job stress link to heart disease and diabetes. Stress can even increase the risk for periodontal disease (see the abstract here) – something you know a lot about. People run from stress, and rightfully so. It can ruin their health.

How can you reduce stress, increase happiness, and maintain high productivity and quality care in the workplace? Dental Economics featured an article this month entitled "What Does Your Staff Expect – The Intangibles" by Tim Twigg and Rebecca Boartfeild. Noted factors that rank high on the ‘what employees want’ scale include:

Challenging Work

  1. Recognition
  2. Ability to Make a Difference and be Included
  3. Job Security
  4. Compensation and Benefits
  5. Opportunity for Advancement
  6. Good Environment and Conditions
  7. Employer Commitment to Employees
  8. Good Management
  9. Support with Personal Problems

The article also reviews some of the smaller things you can do – like direct deposit, wellness plans, and tuition reimbursement. Team building also plays a role in loyalty and happiness at work. A popular Confucius quote says, "Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day of your life." If you hire employees with a passion for dentistry and people, then you foster a supportive, team-focused, positive atmosphere in your practice, you will be living out the secret to avoiding turnover – you’ll save money and time, and your patients will feel more comfortable, as well.

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