Oral Health Group

Why Every Small Business Needs HR

October 30, 2020
by Tannis Jarvis, HR, Strategy & Talent Lead at Brite Hive HR

What are human resources? The first thing you may think of is a corporate department who hires, fires, pushes paperwork and manages payroll. Perhaps you associate this role as the “rule maker” or a department that only has a place within a larger, corporate environment. However, human resources is so much more. And yes, it is equally important for small business, such as dental practices, too.

Human resources is not only a workplace department, it is also defined as “people, especially the personnel employed by a given company.” The people: the team members that come to work every day, who make your practice run seamlessly, who establish rapport, and keep your patients smiling. They are not only a resource but are your most important asset. And, human resources, as a function, is there to collaborate with your team to improve your business and cultivate team engagement.


While you may not have need for a full time in office human resources professional, we highly recommend having essential HR elements in place to help your business thrive, be protected, and engage and develop your team!

Here are some key human resources fundamentals that will help your practice to thrive.


We never want to enter a business contract thinking that something will go wrong. Most often it will not, and everything will work out fine. However, it is incredibly important that you have processes and documents in place to protect both your business and employees, should something take a turn for the worse. Missing an important step or not having the proper paperwork can end up being very costly to your bottom line. What can you do to ensure both you, the business and your employees are protected?

  • Have proper, legally vetted, employment contracts in place.
  • Ensure you have a system for capturing and storing all needed employee information in a confidential manner.
  • Create, circulate and post workplace policies for workplace violence, workplace harassment and workplace health and safety as per government requirements.
  • Circulate and update a comprehensive Employee Handbook that sets the tone for the culture of your office, and ensures everyone is aware of and understands clinic policies and practices.
  • Implement a documented performance management or discipline process.
  • Understand the Employment Standards Act legislation of your province.
  • Have a set, legally validated process for conducting terminations.


Once you have your legal processes and documents in place, you want to ensure that your team members are not only doing the basics of the job that they were hired to do, but also are thriving in their careers and your office environment. Again, this is where human resources expertise can help facilitate a culture where your team can flourish. Create:

  • A personalized recruitment process that finds candidates that are not only a good fit based on credentials and experience, but who will also fit with your office culture
  • A comprehensive onboarding program that will reduce time to productivity, increase retention rates and positively integrate your new hire within their new team
  • A guiding company Mission, Vision and Values statement that encompasses the unique culture of your practice and provides clear values for your team
  • A pulse on the engagement of your practice staff; and impactful solutions to dramatically increase engagement and how to prevent disengagement issues from arising


Lastly, human resources can help ensure your team members continue to grow within their careers and continually improve the environment at your dental practice. When your team members have the opportunity to grow, it also has a positive impact on your business. Team members who are given the chance to expand their knowledge, skill set and capabilities will provide higher levels of patient care, bring forward innovative ideas, be more engaged and stay with your organization. It is a win-win! How do you help drive employee growth?

  • Implement an impactful and effective performance appraisal process.
  • Take managerial training on providing effective feedback and coaching – and do it regularly!
  • Offer regularly scheduled employee/manager one on one meetings to check in.
  • Develop a benefits plan that provides time and assistance for continuing education.
  • Offer in-house soft skills training for your teams.

There is so much that a small business can benefit from simply by implementing a few key human resources practices within their workplace. Such fundamentals protect your business and bottom line, plus show that you truly view your team members as important, critical assets to your business. Investing in your team will result in happier patients, which is great for your business.

Looking for some more information? There are agencies that offer full-service HR solutions and recruitment specializing in the dental industry and small business.

About the Author

Tannis Jarvis, HR, Strategy & Talent Lead at Brite Hive HR, a boutique HR consultancy and recruitment agency specializing in the dental industry and small business. They are a team of results-oriented, innovative, and enthusiastic HR and recruitment professionals who understand the time and energy you put in to running a successful dental practice.

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