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a blog by Chris Barrow

Find, Retain and Grow your best team! - a guest post by Lisa Bainham

Over the last 12 months we have all experienced how much it means to have a strong, dedicated, and loyal team. It has meant so much to many practices and for those with great team members, it's time to ensure that we keep hold of our most valuable assets….our people!

In many industries, people are reevaluating their employment and positions within companies and thinking "is it still for them?", and in Dentistry we have witnessed this in droves, mostly due to intense environments that COVID has created in our Dental Practices and systems.

Who are our ideal employees?

· Motivated

· Engaged

· Loyal

· Positive people with a “can do” attitude

· People who take pride in their roles and feel appreciated.

How do we keep our ideal employees?

· Understanding what makes them happy (or not) and what is important to them is a great start. Talking to your team individually is key…when you observe not so great behaviours or attitudes it may be too little too late so don’t wait until then!

Why do people leave?

· Pay

· Working conditions/stress

· Conflicts

· Better career opportunities

What can we do?

· Identify risk factors and those who may be susceptible

· Ensure individuals are clear on what is important to them is important to us

What are your attrition factors?

· Are people leaving by their own choice? (This is often known as voluntary staff turnover) or is their employment being terminated ?(involuntary staff turnover)

Exit interviews are a great tool to dig down into the reasons why someone is leaving (voluntarily or involuntary) Just like we do when we ask patients for reviews and feedback, it’s a great way to troubleshoot and see what might not be great and give you the chance to improve systems and situations and prevent others leaving. Look for patterns!

Where to start?

· A robust recruitment structure and a realistic view of what their role will or could look like is vital. 40% of new starters leave within the first 6 months of employment! and considering the cost of recruitment and the time and energy we put into finding “The One” this statistic is staggering.

· Be clear on the practice values and mission

· Have a thorough Induction programme

What I also like to look for?

· Loyalty or a long-term commitment in previous roles

· External commitment…maybe even to a specific hobby, sport or good cause.

In my last article I talked about the induction and the importance of new people feeling welcomed and part of the team. Don’t make them feel like a “it’s a bum on a seat” type of person.

How do we catch their eye and make them say yes?

· Stand firm on your practice pay levels unless you are going to align the whole team! (And I strongly recommend you review your pay scale in line with your financials regularly!) There is no point in snaring “The One” if you manage to upset the existing team.

What do we need to be doing continuously?

· Development/Training

· Flexibility

· Give them your time and attention

Above all – lead them fairly and support them. Treat them as valuable individuals and help them understand that they matter to you. Don’t find yourself turning a blind eye to your team, they need us and we certainly need them!

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