In the light of the difficulties practices are experiencing recruiting new members of staff, it’s important to hang onto the good ones you already have!
If your team is happy, they’re less likely to go looking for a new job. As well as reducing your need to enter the minefield of recruiting new staff, a number of studies have shown that happy teams are more productive, too. Here dental business coach, Lucy Simic shares her three top tips on how to keep your team happy.
Keeping a happy team is a really important part of running a dental practice and I have found there are a few things that work really well to make sure that happens.
One of the first things to consider is, are your team members engaged? Do they value coming to work? And are they being utilised to the very best of their ability? Often team members can get bored and a little frustrated if they’re not using all of their skills. So, make sure that you spend some time talking to your team and finding out what matters to them and where they want to progress in the business. It’s important to focus on them being engaged rather than them being happy. Obviously, happy is a by-product of somebody being engaged at work.
Something that’s also really important is understanding that staff members want autonomy. They want to be able to take on things and deliver jobs in their working day without having to keep checking in with someone all the time. And when they’re given the autonomy to do that, they have a sense of achievement. And this is something that will help to keep your team focused, happy and engaged.
My second tip would be about staff facilities. Just take a little look around. Is there somewhere away from patients where they can go and have their lunch? Or are they having to use your patient lounge because there’s nowhere else for them to go? Do they have a changing room or a facility where they’re able to take a moment to take a breath and have some time away from being in a close-knit environment with their dentist, for example? Often staff facilities can be overlooked in a dental business because we’re so concerned with surgeries being for money making reasons. Obviously, that is really important, money makes the practice sustainable. But it’s also really important that we look at how our staff are feeling in that environment.
And my third tip for keeping a happy team for me is about communication. How do you communicate in your practice? And does the team know that they can communicate up and down the line? Something that I believe is really important is a practice cadence, a rhythm, an understanding that there are regular meetings that happen at regular times that allow them to feedback, both happy and sad.
These meetings need to be on suitable days. I often go into practices and see that a Monday morning is taken up with lists of meetings, when we all know that a Monday morning is the busiest day of the week in a dental practice. So, take some time to think about when you’re having those meetings and choose a time that’s less pressured. It’s important to make sure that your team gets to communicate effectively, so make sure they feel able to do so.
Lucie Simic is a Dental Business Consultant and has worked in the dental industry for nearly a decade, helping practices increase their turnover and deliver exceptional customer experience.
Lucie’s background is in journalism and she has applied these skills to the dental industry. She managed a strategic business plan which transformed a three-chair practice into a seven-surgery referral hub in three years. Lucie has assisted many practices around the UK with their own journey and now works alongside Ashley Latter, delivering his training courses.
If you’d like to hear more from Lucie, she will be a panel member for the session ‘How can I keep my team happy and motivated?’ at Practice Plan’s Dental Business Theatre at this year’s British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show on 12th and 13 May. The Practice Plan team will also be at Stand K50 so why not come and say hello.