A thriving dental practice is built on excellent service and an experience of safety, comfort, friendliness and care for its patients.
Employee morale needs to be high enough to consistently support this level of service. Patients will quickly pick up on the mood that your staff are in, and brisk, abrupt or prickly treatment will inevitably cause patients to walk out the door, perhaps never to return.
High levels of employee satisfaction also just make life easier for everyone. A practice is a closely knit team, with treatment, patient education, marketing, billing and management often all performed within three or four rooms under the same roof. If staff are happy in their roles they’re more likely to perform well, and your practice will resemble a well-oiled machine.
Here are four key tips to maintaining high levels of employee morale.
Include Core Staff in Key Decisions
People crave meaning and responsibility in their jobs, and they like to know their input makes a real difference to the future of the business.
When you include staff in key meetings and decision-making, they feel connected to a greater sense of purpose – the success of the practice. It’s uplifting and energising, and it also encourages them to hold themselves to a standard outside of themselves.
Meet monthly with core staff to review the key performance indicators of your business. Ask for suggestions as to where improvements need to be made – both overall, and in the specific processes and tasks that each staff member is required to perform.
Celebrate Personal Events With Your Staff
One of the best ways to make people feel good about themselves is to make a point of celebrating their birthdays, weddings and births of children.
Doing so doesn’t take much time or effort, and it’s a great way to show people that you see them more than just employees, and that you really care about their lives as a human beings.
Buy a cake for everyone to share on birthdays. Buy cards for everyone to sign. Even throw a small party in practice downtime – it makes a big difference, and injects some much needed revelry into an otherwise serious day of dentistry.
Ask for Employee Feedback
Find out what they’re happy with, and what might be a pain point for them. You don’t have to rush round fixing everything – but the very act of asking makes them feel respected and that their experience in your practice matters.
Don’t just use formal feedback rounds or questionnaires – make a point of casually asking people how everything is going for them from time to time.
If it’s something that can be addressed now or in the future, you can ask them what a solution might look like, and you can make plans to implement it.
Just a few words regularly with each staff member will go a long way. It makes them feel appreciated and valued – as they should be.
Make Your Practice Bright and Comfortable
The physical environment of the workplace has a significant impact on mood levels. Every little bit of effort you put into making your practice environment pleasant will be worthwhile.
Allow as much natural light in as possible, and change blinds if necessary. Don’t be afraid to use plants and greenery to create a natural feel. The ambience you’re aiming for is ‘light, natural, comfortable’.
A pleasant dental practice environment also has the double-barrelled effect of improving the ambience for patients, as well as keeping the staff happy.
These tips should help you keep your staff morale in the sweet spot, which helps to maintain good patient retention, alongside sustaining a satisfying, smooth and upbeat working environment in your dental practice.