As the manager of a larger periodontal practice, I have invested a great deal of time and money ensuring the equipment in the practice is up to date and well-maintained. As I was sending in the payment for a laser warranty the other day, the thought occurred to me, that we sign checks, and hire tech companies, and keep up equipment without a second thought, yet the efforts and investments that we put into keeping team members apprised of the latest tools, trained and calibrated is all too often lacking.
As a coach, what I know to be true, is that even the busiest of dental practices can’t afford to neglect the development of their team; frequent coaching and training are essential in building a cohesive group and an environment where each employee feels valued. Yet as someone running a busy practice, I have fallen into this poor practice more times than I wish to admit.
The dental industry is a competitive market, growing more so by the day. Keeping great talent at your practice is essential to your success. Just how important is employee retention? Not only does frequent turnover affect the morale of those who’ve been left behind, but it’s also costly. Studies have shown that, on average, it costs six to 9 months’ pay to replace a salaried employee. For a dental hygienist making $60,000 a year, for example, that’s a hefty price between $35,000 and $45,000 that your practice will have to cover.
In short, the stakes are high. Here are some of the ways that frequent training of the whole team improves your overall group dynamic and leads to long-term employee retention.
“Progress not Perfection”
Frequent training allows results in continued growth. Kirk has often said to me, “progress, not perfection” and I’ve adopted this as one of my favorite mantras. No team member, including me, including you, is perfect in every single respect —we’re human, after all—and we all have areas of weakness.
With the right combination of coaching and reinforcement, weaknesses can soon turn into strengths and team members can excel. Continual training helps your group get on the same page, and understand what’s expected of them, and their team members.
Continual training and calibration give each team member the #allin attitude that we all hope for. For most people, regardless of industry, the most motivating factor of any position is believing that they’re an integral part of the team and that their contribution makes a positive difference each and every day . By giving the team frequent opportunities to improve their day-to-day tasks with frequent training and positive encouragement, you inspire a sense of ownership and belonging that leads to greater retention.
Whether your training involves teaching new clinical skills or interpersonal skills, when you invest in your people by taking the time to help them improve, their confidence will always grow.
Creating a Team Dynamic
All the dentists I work with understand the long-term value of ongoing education. Yet what they do not often realize, is the most successful practices prioritize training for the entire team as well. Making training a part of your practice culture fosters a positive team dynamic, reinforcing trust and reliability among each member and the group as a whole.
Training and career development empowers team members to perform at their best while strengthening their bond to your practice. Try to let each employee play a role in shaping their individual training program and they’ll be more motivated to continue to refine their skills, boost performance and—most importantly—remain with your practice rather than seek opportunity elsewhere.
Stay Competitive in Today’s Market
The dental market is more competitive than ever before, and it takes more than an experienced dentist at the helm to make a practice successful. With many practices understaffed and ready to hire, keeping great talent at your practice is essential.
How can you reduce turnover in your practice today? Start by implementing a training program that fosters career development and group cohesion. Reach out to ACT Dental today to learn more about crafting a team training program that helps you retain your best talent. Our proven coaching framework cuts through the complexity so you can grow your practice, for a Better Practice, and a Better Life!
About the Author: Jenni Poulos is a lead practice coach at ACT Dental.