A happy team is your most precious resource – Anne McDonnell Managing Director of Diamond Designs UniformsFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 6th July 2019
The dental team is the backbone of any thriving practice. There is much talk about patient retention and how to attract new ones, but a truly great practice will also focus on keeping hold of the people who work there and establishing a reputation as a brilliant employer.
Morale in the workplace is important in any environment. It’s a simple equation; people who enjoy coming into work perform better. A happy, positive atmosphere will boost productivity and reduce the amount of sick days taken. In 2017/18, there were 26.8 million working days lost to work-related ill health, which includes things like stress and anxiety.[i]
Practice life is never dull
All dental practitioners know that practice life is unpredictable. No two days are the same, which keeps you constantly on your toes (literally!) and looking for the right solution to every challenge. Unpredictability can be exciting, but stressful. Nervous patients, unhappy patients, emergencies; these are just a few scenarios that place extra pressure on the dental team. Sometimes dealing with the unexpected will leave you feeling inspired and invigorated, but there will be other occasions where you will be disappointed and deflated, thinking that you could have done things differently.
This is normal and, within a supportive team, stressful situations become positive learning experiences. Every practice should have protocols in place to manage stress effectively. If they don’t, they run the risk of talented people feeling unhappy, taking time off and ultimately leaving.
See, hear and respect
A really great practice will treat each member of the dental team equally, in order to ensure that everyone feels seen, heard and respected. An open and communicative environment is important, so that niggles are discussed and ironed out before they become insurmountable. We all know what it’s like when a well-loved colleague leaves for pastures new, especially if it was unexpected. There is usually a knock-on effect, as those left behind start to wonder if there is something better out there for them too. The recruitment process can be time-consuming. It can take a while to find someone who has the right blend of skill and personality, who will fit in with the current team andenhance service delivery. Until the new recruit is in post, this can mean extra work for everyone else.
Consider the details
Not only do you want to keep talented people working for you, but you also want to be known as a fantastic place to work, in order to recruit the best of the best. Aspire to be the practice that people are falling over themselves to be a part of!
If you are an owner or a principle, listen to your team. Canvas opinions about ways to improve and ensure that everyone knows that your door is always open. Perhaps someone would like an opportunity to do more, or diversify their role? You will only know if they feel able to tell you! Encourage ambition because this lets people know that you support career progression. If you are unable to offer someone an enhanced role, be their advocate if they apply for a job at another practice. The benefits of them leaving on good terms are immense. They will become your ambassador, for instance, because you nurtured them and supported their journey.
Providing a safe and healthy work environment is a legal requirement, and employers must know their responsibilities. But think about all the details that will also make your practice a good place to work. Décor, giving your team the right tools and consumables to use, and supplying them with comfortable uniforms to wear – these are important pieces of the puzzle. Spend time researching options and do not compromise on quality. A practice can be given a makeover inexpensively and there are some fantastic deals regarding essential supplies. Stylish high-quality uniforms strike the right impression just as faded, shapeless scrubs don’t. The dental team won’t enjoy wearing them either. Comfort is essential but so is looking fresh and modern. Diamond Designs is a family-run company that creates and distributes uniforms that are comfortable and durable, as well as beautiful. Investing in uniforms indicates to the team that how they look and feel at work is important to you, and that you want them to feel proud about being there, upholding your impeccable standards.
A successful practice will have high levels of retention and will also attract the very best candidates whenever a vacancy arises. A strong team ethic will help everyone manage the unavoidable sources of stress, too. Every owner and principal should know that if they look after their team, their team will look after them! The dental team’s happiness is not only fundamental to a practice surviving and thriving in today’s competitive market, but is also the means by which it can continue providing the highest standards of patient care.
To find out more, visit: www.diamonddesignsuniforms.com
tel: 0845 0800 576or email: email@example.com
[i]Health and Safety Executive. Working days lost in Great Britain. Link: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/dayslost.htm(accessed May 2019)
Anne McDonnell is the Managing Director of Diamond Designs Uniforms. Inspired by a childhood dream to pursue fashion, in 1989 Anne opened Diamond Designs Uniforms in order to provide dental professionals with professional wear with a difference. Today DIAMOND designs is one of the most recognised uniform brands in Ireland and continues to design unique, comfortable and innovative uniform patterns for professionals who want to stand out from the crowd.