Evolution for Survival: A Dental Team Guide  

HOW DO WE ADAPT WHEN WE GET DISCOURAGING NEWS?

I learned last month that I needed a full hip replacement.

My lifetime of athletics and 30+ years of dental hygiene, pushing the chair with my left leg to pivot around the patient, caught up with me.

I knew I was heading in that direction from a diagnosis in 2018.  After denying there was a problem, classic response! I dove into researching what I could do to improve the situation. 

I devoted time to months of PT, learning exercises, which I still do daily, I made adjustments to how I get on/off my bike and changed my approach to getting up off the snow when I fall on my board. Yes, I do crash occasionally! I delayed the inevitable as long as possible.

Fast forward to 2022, the pain has increased, I can barely tie my left shoe, and it is really impacting my snowboarding and mountain biking! I now need to evolve further to maintain the lifestyle I love.  This means I have a big decision to make and an evolutionary change is in my near future.

EVOLVING TO SURVIVE is the name of the game in dentistry now. 

We can no longer continue to do things the way we always have and expect the same results.

I have heard the phrase, “The 2022 great resignation is actually the great discontent” and I believe there is truth to that statement.

Here’s what we know about our current situation related to team retention and engagement:

  1. Fair pay and benefits are only two parts of the equation to incentivize employees.
  2. Employees are feeling burnt out and undervalued.
  3. Negative team culture is spilling into employees’ home life.
  4. Teams are not being included in the strategic building of the practice.
  5. Lack of gratitude is contributing to the downward spiral of team culture.

HOW DO WE EVOLVE?

Consistency is the key when expressing gratitude. Think of it as an ala carte menu, varying the ways you engage on a regular basis.

  1. Stay competitive with market value for dental team positions.
  2. Get creative with benefits.  Younger generations (Gen Y and Z) are looking for a new spin on benefits: Day/Doggie care assistance, flexible PTO, revolving scheduling, expanded training with frequent progression,  
  3. Ask each team member what they need and want to feel safe and valued.
  4. Schedule a 10-minute pulse check meeting each week with individual team members
  5. A simple ‘Thank You’ means more than you think.

Watch the video below to learn 6 behaviors to create an emotionally safe community for your team members and patients.

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