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  • Lori Samarco

How to Keep Your Team Happy

Shimmin Consulting has the privilege of partnering with practices and teams all over the country and staff and staffing during this time is a challenge, to say the least. We hear consistently that there is just no one out there. Weeks pass without applicant submissions, and when you finally get one that might seem promising, you experience interview no-shows and poor communication. Additionally, the low pool of applicants has caused offices to advertise higher pay rates, which has led to team members requesting raises, despite recent raises given when they stuck with you during the pandemic close of our offices in 2020. I am an advocate and believe in paying your team fairly and competitively and the pandemic has raised expected compensation significantly. You are not alone in this challenge and we are successfully supporting our practices to fill open positions on their team.

Before we discuss the aforementioned in more detail, let’s first discuss the attributes we, at Shimmin Consulting, value in attracting and retaining top talent. Employees stay when they are: - Paid Well - Mentored - Challenged - Promoted - Involved - Appreciated - Trusted - Empowered - Valued Having laid out the value points to retaining staff, let’s explore the reasons why team members leave; especially the “good” ones: 1. Lack of respect or trust from manager, Dr. or team 2. Low Pay 3. Poor culture in the office As you read this article and as a member of the Shimmin family, you know we are always talking about COMMUNICATION! Communication as a leader, as an employee and as a teammate is imperative! When there is a lack of communication, perception creeps in! It is important to check in with team members and conduct consistent reviews. Shimmin Consulting highly recommends yearly performance reviews that include self evaluation (from the team member) with the same evaluation filled out by the supervisor or doctor. This form of review is highly effective in opening the lines of communication, understanding their desires and goals while keeping the team member accountable. When team members are involved in their employment, understand what the expectations are in their role and are invested in their own professional growth, there is an increase in commitment to work and employee morale, which leads to higher performance. Accountability in the workplace means that all employees are responsible for their actions, behaviors, performance growth and decisions. Doctors and Office Managers; if you are sensing the morale or culture in the office is not where you would like to be, take action right away. Set up check-ins with your employees to gauge the temperature of the situation. I would recommend asking your employee for suggestions or a solution when a potential opportunity is discussed. AND yes, we prefer the word opportunity versus problem or challenge since every “problem” is an opportunity to learn from the circumstances. Being proactive in this scenario will go a long way with your team. Keep in mind, also, that not all employees are money-centered. Understanding a team member's “language of appreciation” is a remarkable way of demonstrating to them that you understand their value points. An example of this is communication with your team that you prioritize their work-life balance, offer extra vacation days for that team member that has a new grand baby in another state, promote a positive work environment and celebrate your employees!!! And don’t forget, saying thank you goes a long way!! Okay, now back to the search for new team members; be transparent in what our practice goals are, potential roles and responsibilities, expectations and who they go to with questions. As a consultant, I look forward to the opportunity of helping my doctors with interviewing, to offer what they are looking for and laying the foundation and expectations while having the opportunity to brag about how REMARKABLE they are, of course!!! We highly recommend hiring for personality, the ability to harmonize with your team versus experience. We desire a candidate that has similar values and ethics. By doing this, you will improve retention, increase employee engagement and form better relationships with patients. Partner with dental assisting vocational schools, promote your practice culture through social media. When a candidate looks at your social media channels or practice’s website, they are more inclined to work for a practice that showcases employee happiness, personality, and success. While these tactics get the talent in the door, you need a culture that keeps your team happy and engaged. This means creating an environment that provides room for growth, continued education, competitive compensation, and work/life balance (please see the reasons why employees stay!!!) There is no greater time than right now, to step up and focus on your team! This does not mean to set up an environment that harbors entitlement, but to the contrary, as discussed above, use this time to cultivate and EXPECT positivity, collaboration, input, commitment and feedback from your team members! Be prepared to ask your team what they need to be successful, what they are committing to and then CELEBRATE the wins together! Never hesitate to reach out to our team at Shimmin for additional insight or the best recommended tools and processes that I’ve discussed. ~Lori

Lori provides a breadth of knowledge and guidance to our clients using her 25 years of experience in the dental industry. Lori has a wonderful way of connecting with those she coaches and it shows in the remarkable success she facilitates for our clients. Lori lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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