February 4, 2019
by Shawn Peers, DentalPeers
Now that one month of the year is behind us, I hope you are on your way to making any of the necessary changes to your practice that you feel will help improve your patient care and financial performance in 2019.
One of the obstacles you may be facing in making these changes is that you cannot do it alone! You absolutely must have help!
For some tasks, this will require the help of experts outside of your office. For instance, if you want to begin a new external marketing plan to attract new patients, I would recommend hiring a marketing expert.
Often, it is not just external help we need to make effective change. A marketing plan will only succeed long-term if you have quality people on your team who can help engage the new patients it may generate.
Unfortunately, the feedback I am getting is that many offices are experiencing a lot of difficulty finding quality team members. I know I get more notices from members of the DentalPeers buying group looking for help with staffing than I did even five years ago.
So why is that?
It is difficult to pinpoint only one reason for this. Perhaps the best answer may simply be that the workforce has changed.
In the past, people pursued careers and required full time jobs to support their families. Today, many people are choosing NOT to get married and start a family. At the very least, trends suggest they are delaying this decision until later in life.
Without that family obligation, workers may not feel the same need to maintain stable employment. Instead, many of them move from one employment “gig” to the next as their economic needs dictate. The less satisfaction they have with a particular “gig”, the faster they may move.
What does that mean for you, the dental practice owner?
It means you need to make their “gig” at your office the best it can be. You need to start with an HR strategy that is always working. It is not just about meeting your “staffing” needs. “Staffing” is a simple reactive strategy that only kicks into action some time after a team member hands in their notice. You may have been able to get by with that in the past, but it will be tremendously ineffective today.
An effective HR strategy today is about developing your team. It allows them to grow so they are encouraged to stay with you longer. And should they leave, it also allows you to build that reputation within your community that makes all the top candidates want to come to work for you. What a great luxury to have top talent in your pipeline.
The world has changed and even the best of employers will have trouble keeping team members indefinitely. However, if you have taken the time to build an HR strategy that includes a quality work environment, turnover can still be reduced and finding a great replacement becomes less of an ordeal. It may take a change of mindset. But in a world that is changing all around us, what is one more slight change?