But they CAN be located AND retained
This past Friday I co-presented a seminar to dentists and team members in Las Vegas. At the end of the presentation a number of attendees came up to chat with both Cyndee and myself. Those of you who are also on the seminar circuit will agree that this is a regular occurrence.
The delightful dentist that approached me had what might be an interesting and unusual question to many of you, but to me I had an answer and a theory right off the top of my head. His question was, “I have such impressive longevity among my clinical team members (hygiene and clinical assistants) with anywhere from 10-18 years of tenure in my practice and yet the turnover and revolving door that goes on within my business office team is crazy. I realize it’s because there are just no strong, viable dental business office candidates out there to fill these spots in my particular market. Isn’t this correct, Deb?”
My answer was “No, not really. There are candidates to fill positions everywhere and fortunately your observation isn’t valid. Valuable, capable dental employees are everywhere. It’s not only a matter of attracting them, but also a lot about recognizing and choosing them. OR you could be making wise choices and perhaps failed to integrate and maintain them successfully.”
I do find that in a given practice, there is often a trend whereby the turnover consistently occurs within the back office team, yet the business office is strong with long-term employees, or just the opposite. This is not based simply on coincidence, market, location or timing and I believe I can offer some guidance as to why this occurs within many dental practices. There are clear-cut reasons as to why open positions are being filled and then rapidly vacated, resulting in starting the process for team hire once again.
What it boils down to are numerous reasons why this could be an ongoing struggle. Here are some possibilities as I have experienced them with my clients over the years:
- Not preparing properly for the hiring process and simply “settling” for an employee
- Staying more tuned in to the clinical side of the practice than the business side of the practice (or vice versa)
- Not being consistent during the integration of new hires
- Neglecting to support new hires as they learn new systems and methods
- As the employer, you are much too overly structured and demand unrealistic expectations from team members