Playing the Game of Employee Roulette?

by Shawn Peers, DentalPeers

You have dramatically increased salaries…you offered thousands of dollars as a signing bonus…and now, you are spinning the wheel yet again…waiting to see if you will still have all your employees at work today.

Welcome to the world of employee roulette!

If you get through this round, you can choose to do it all over again when the next team member tells you they are leaving for a $10 an hour raise and a $10,000 signing bonus.

Or you can just refuse to spin the wheel! 

Let’s be clear…I am not telling anyone to just let your employees walk and see how things work out for you! That would be a huge mistake. What I am saying, however, is that you can refuse to play the game by looking for ways to get ahead of it!

The first step in this regard is to accept the current state of the labour market. When the supply of labour was high, it made it easier to keep salaries lower and we just said “that was the market.”

Now that tables have turned, complaining about it too much may leave your team feeling you do not truly value them. After all, it is still the market. It is just the market conditions have changed.

In reality, some of the dentists I know who have always paid a bit above the perceived market rate are not experiencing the same degree of employee turnover right now. And even when they do, they are having an easier time finding new team members to hire!

What is the secret to their success on that front? It is really quite simple: paying a slightly higher salary was only the first step they took in building an office culture where everyone truly felt valued and appreciated!

What they understood was that building the right office culture had to start from the very moment an employee arrived for their first day of work. How they are welcomed sends a strong message about whether they have truly found their dental home.

It all starts with onboarding. You can choose to throw them to the wolves without any training on your systems or procedures. I have seen new admin team member answering phones on their first day without even knowing what services the office offered or did not offer!

Or you can take the time to show them your “why.” Let them understand your office philosophy, how you approach patient care, the type of work you enjoy, what your core values are. This will better enable them to understand their role with the team and even identify areas where they may require some training before you ask them to actually deal with patients on their own.

Yes, having prior experience in dentistry may accelerate the learning curve (provided they truly learned the correct way of doing things). But if you do things a bit differently from what they have seen in the past, training them on your processes first will make their adjustment to their new dental home go more smoothly.

When you show new team members you care enough to make sure their integration to your team is seamless, they will see they are part of a team that values its members and wants to provide them with the tools to give the best standard of patient care possible.

And most team members value quality patient care above all else.

So, you can continue playing the costly game of employee roulette, where there are no winners in the long run, and you never know if your new hire will show up for work the next day!

Or you can stop spinning that wheel and get ahead of the game with an onboarding plan that tells everyone this is the culture of a true dental home!

About the Author

Shawn Peers is the President of DentalPeers. DentalPeers is one of Canada’s oldest, continuous operating buying groups exclusively for dentists.

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