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Why Valued Employees Mean Valued Patients jmu dental

Why Valued Employees Mean Valued Patients

Employee turnover shines a negative light on your practice for several reasons. First, it can be expensive because time has to be spent interviewing and then training new employees. Additionally, it hurts the morale of your employees and your patients. Staff members may begin to wonder if they should seek employment elsewhere; your patients may feel upset because their favorite dental assistant or hygienist is gone.  Ultimately, keeping valued employees helps you keep your valued patients.

5 Tips to Limit Employee Turnover

1. Motivate Your Employees with Praise

Studies show that employees view praise as the most rewarding benefit they can receive from their employer. A study funded by Make Their Day – Employee Recognition that Works, states that 88% of the employees surveyed found praise from their managers very or extremely motivational.

Tip: Practice showing your dental assistants, receptionists and hygienists that you are grateful for all their assistance throughout the day.

  • Praise vs. Feedback – Know the Difference

There isn’t anything wrong with saying ‘thank you’ or ‘good job’ to a staff member; however, this is not the same as praising your employee. Thank you and good job are generic terms and while they are pleasant to hear, praise is much different. When offering praise, always be genuine. This is easy to accomplish by personalizing your praise. Keep in mind that each staff member handles acknowledgment in a different way. While some employees like to receive praise privately, others may like public acknowledgment. At the end of the day people want to feel appreciated.  So take a couple of minutes each week to provide a heartfelt note or a verbal acknowledgment. This has been proven to go a long way.

2. Create a Fun Work Environment

According to Forbes Magazine, another way to inspire your staff members is to create a fun work environment.¹ The same Make Their Day study finds that 90% of employees surveyed found a fun work environment to be extremely inspirational.


  • Make time for you and your staff to do something together eg. catering coffee and donuts in the morning or bringing in a special lunch, or taking the team on a one-hour shopping experience or going out for a meal to do something occasionally.
  • Make it a surprise and different.
  • When sticking to office activities, I have heard of things like making the break room fun with a humor board for jokes, funny pictures and fun facts.
  • Post some optical illusions throughout the break room. Change them every so often to keep your staff engaged.
  • Post inspirational sayings, posters and pictures that relate to dentistry.
  • Have a suggestion box for fun activities to do together outside of the workplace.
  • Post staff member caricatures that apply to dentistry. This can be fun for employees and patients.

3. Take Advantage of Technology

By making your staff members’ jobs less stressful with state-of-the-art programs and software, they have more time to spend caring for and engaging with your patients. This ultimately leads to more satisfied employees and patients. Want your dental team to have a happy work life? Watch our Happy Practice Playbook Podcast to learn what’s working for other dental offices.

4. Help Your Employees Save for Retirement

Offering your staff members a 401k or SEP IRAs helps them save for their retirement. If you do not have a group benefit plan, you may have trouble finding quality employees. The quality of your employees can directly affect the satisfaction of your patients.

Although you may believe you are saving money by not offering retirement benefits to your employees, you should also consider that you may lose money in the end if your patients are not satisfied as well as the cost to replace and train an employee.

5. Offer a Bonus Plan

Obviously, your staff knows that as the owner of the practice your annual income is higher than theirs. Giving your staff a monthly, quarterly or yearly bonus can help them feel like a team member. This positive mindset can directly affect their performance.

Technology allows your team to do more in less time and to spend more time with possibly less stress helping patients and other staff members in the office.

By creating a centralized system where you can text, call and email your patients, Weave software helps make everyday tasks quicker and easier. The phone rings and the name of the patient calling appears on the computer monitor. This allows your receptionist to answer the phone and call the patient by his or her name, which makes the patient feel like a person, as opposed to a number. Weave replaces your current phone company and gives you unlimited texting, as well as unlimited local and long distance calling. This software syncs seamlessly with your current dental software and so much more. Contact Weave today to learn more.


by Todd Snyder

International author, Lecturer and Consultant, Cosmetic and Restorative Dentist

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