Retaining a team is great for consistency especially in the dental industry as it allows for patients to build rapport with not only dentist but also the support team. I don’t know about you but for me there is nothing nicer than walking into your regular clinic and seeing the same friendly faces, it brings a level of trust that you would not necessarily expect.

Current statistics in the UAE is that 57% of employees would consider moving to another employer within the next 12 months, I don’t know about you but as a clinic manager that figure is scary for a number of reasons; one being cost, on average it costs employers approx. 15,000dhs for you to replace an employee but on top of this it can take as much as 20 weeks for them to be fully functional within the business and finally one of the biggest impact is staff morale.

Why as a manager should we care if our employees are engaged? It is simple, for benefits to the business such as;

  • Provide a better patient experience. Engaged employees are happier and therefore typically provide better service to their patients, as a result of being positive and proactive. Ensuring great customer service is a huge win for the clinic, ensuring happy patients into the future.
  • Positively influence your other team members and effectively train them on delivering a great patient experience.

So, what can businesses to do engage their teams more?

Number one is obviously salary, ensuring you are within the competitive rate for your industry. Yes, I hear you say ‘but it is unrealistic to give pay rises to each person’ and I agree, only do so when it is suitable and within the budget. But do not worry, there are other methods you can use that are relatively low cost for example;

Career progression and Appraisal systems; how often do you meet with your team? Do you know what they are great at? Do they have skills you can utilize somewhere else in the business? A three to six monthly sit down with your employees should give you the answers to these questions but not only this, showing your employees you are investing the time and interest speaks volumes for itself. Another benefit of employee 1-2-1’s is that you maybe  looking to fill a position, this may save you the time, effort and cost as you may already have someone in house who is ready to step into that role.

Team building, take time to step away from the business and just enjoy spending time with your team, this does not have to be costly at all; it can be done quarterly and ideally outside of the clinic, make sure you sit down with your finance managers and plan this into your annual budget, investing small amounts on staff welfare may save you big amounts in the future.

And finally something that I have found worked well is meeting with the team once per month, we enjoy a breakfast meeting, In this meeting we talk about the business and everything they have done to contribute to performance and most importantly an action plan moving forward. Get your team involved, give them accountability, and make them feel needed. If you can do this you will be sure to keep your skilled employees on board longer and ultimately that will have a huge impact on your patient experience and your bottom line.

Faye Sealey – Clinic Manager / Dr Roze & Associates Dental Clinic