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Creative Ways to Hire and Retain Great Employees for Your Practice

January 24, 2019 Blog

It’s simple: great employees make a great practice. From the receptionist to the hygienist to the office manager to the dental assistant, these staff members make connections with your patients that they won’t forget, for better or for worse. Your staff’s qualifications, personalities and habits can make your own daily work routine enjoyable, or they can make it more challenging than it needs to be. You know that when it comes to investing in your practice, the hiring process should be one of your most important undertakings. But how do you find these workplace gems? And more importantly, how do you keep them?

Getting to Know Your Future Employees

As a doctor, you know what level of skill and training to expect from the professionals who will help your practice thrive. Resumes provide that information, but the bigger picture–a happy and productive workplace environment–begins with the tone you set during the interview. A candidate may show up nervous and prepared for a “grilling,” but you can immediately set them at ease by creating an inviting environment that reveals their strengths, builds rapport, and clarifies whether your practice and the candidate are a good fit for each other.

All those “small” touches–sending a warm email reminder, offering tea or coffee when the candidate arrives, breaking the ice with some casual conversation or a joke or two–make a big difference in setting the tone for a friendly atmosphere where the candidate can feel relaxed and confident about presenting their best self. In turn, you benefit by getting a clearer picture of what your candidate is like in “real” life. How do your personalities mesh, and how do you communicate with one another? If time allows, create an opportunity for your candidate to interact with other employees. How do you picture them functioning in this space from day to day?

Hanging On to the Best

Once you hire a talented employee who fits in well with your practice, your job is far from done. There are several things to keep in mind when looking to retain your workers.

Provide Clear Management and Supervision

According to The Balance Careers, “people leave companies because of managers and supervisors more often than they leave because of their actual jobs.” Information gathered during exit interviews points to patterns in employee dissatisfaction:

While most employees resist the dreaded “micromanagement,” they crave clear direction and want your involvement in their work. Just remember to keep your ratio of positive feedback to constructive suggestions high. A study in Harvard Business Review shows that you should offer between five and six positive comments to every one corrective.

Give Them the Freedom to Succeed

Employees want your feedback, but they want to share theirs as well. Give them plenty of opportunities to make suggestions about improvement in the workplace so that they have a sense of ownership. This ownership will translate into long-term motivation and  personal commitment to the practice.

It’s also essential that you offer them opportunities to grow in their skills, expand their responsibilities, and use their range of talents. Provide access to workshops, seminars, employee retreats, and other means of professional development so that your employees see the practice not as a stop, but as their journey.

Build Community

A team that sticks together feels like family, and family is hard to leave! Consider how you can nurture bonds with your employees, and among your employees, that will make them look forward to coming to work every day.

  • Expressions of appreciation: handwritten notes, gifts, and treats
  • Break rooms that include games and activities that encourage interaction, not individual smartphone use
  • Charity volunteer work or fundraising as an office
  • Employee retreats
  • Family picnics

Hiring and retaining high-quality employees will be one of your most important investments in your practice. Collier & Associates is dedicated to helping you with all aspects of your practice. We publish a monthly newsletter that provides resources in practice management. We also offer seminars throughout the year for doctors and dentists. Learn more about our Aggressive Business, Tax, and Practice Management seminar or contact us for more information.

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