“Culture is defined by the character and personality of your organization. It’s what makes your organization unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.” —Today’s RDH
Work culture is a hot topic in the professional world these days, and that includes the dental world. When your work culture is positive and healthy, your team members can perform to the best of their abilities — and they’ll be happy while doing so.
Cultivating a healthy work culture in your dental practice isn't just a feel-good measure for your people and your patients, however; it has real business impact. A positive work culture isn't just a perk; it's a strategic asset that drives success.
A healthy work culture reduces employee turnover, ensuring a strong dental team that works together cohesively and efficiently. It impacts your patients’ experience as well. Whether your team is strained and burned out or congenial and contented, your patients will notice.
That’s why we’re sharing 5 tips here to create a healthy work culture your dental team will love. As a bonus, in our downloadable resource: Cultivate Commitment: Dental Culture Edition, you’ll find 5 more tips with additional resources and action items.
Each of these 10 tips has resources and actionable suggestions for creating an incredible workplace environment.
Tip #1: Foster an open-door policy: Communication is key
It’s important for everyone at your dental office to feel seen and heard. When communication flows freely among everyone, expectations are clear and there are no gray areas. No one has to guess what another means when they offer an idea, a suggestion, or constructive criticism.
Regular team meetings and discussions encourage the open flow of communication between you and your employees. They give everyone a chance to speak their mind and know they’re being listened to. This goes a long way!
Implementing a feedback system is another great way to ensure everyone feels comfortable expressing ideas and/or concerns. The feedback system could even be anonymous, if necessary.
The goal is that everyone on your staff expresses themselves healthily and professionally.
Tip #2: Support work-life balance: It’s a must in this new world
“Data from Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index Annual Report showed more than half of Millennial and Gen Z workers who quit cited either lack of work-life balance or lack of flexibility as the reason.” –BBC
I’ve heard this discussed countless times among my own colleagues and friends. If an employer doesn’t seem to respect life outside of work, we’re simply uninterested in working for that employer.
Work is important, and people perform their best work when they don’t resent it. The keys to not resenting work are being able to separate work and life, and life being on an equal footing with work.
A great way to do this is to offer flexible scheduling for your employees to accommodate their personal and family needs. If someone needs to leave work an hour early on Wednesdays to pick up their child from school, ensure there is a system in place where they can do so without the dental practice falling apart in their absence.
Emphasize the importance of breaks and vacations with your employees. They prevent burnout and let your employees know you respect their time and talents.
Tip #3: Invest in professional development: Show your team that you care about their future
Showing your team members that you care about their professional growth is another way to strengthen your healthy work culture.
Do this by investing in their development. For example, you can:
Offer opportunities for skill enhancement and continuing education
Send team members to conferences so they can network and learn new skills
Invest in tangible and digital resources that will expand their skill sets, such as books, webinars, and virtual classes
To show your appreciation for team members' efforts to pursue growth and improvement, celebrate milestones and accomplishments they achieve.
Tip #4: Embrace diversity and inclusion: Value everyone’s contributions
Embrace and celebrate diverse backgrounds, cultures, and viewpoints to create an inclusive workplace that values everyone's contributions.
This is another way for your employees to feel seen and heard, so they know you respect who they are as a person.
Encourage sharing cultures, experiences, and backgrounds — but avoid discussions of politics and religion. This promotes rich conversations among your employees, and allows them to create more meaningful relationships.
Creating an inclusive environment also means ensuring everything is always fair among your employees. Not sure where to start? You’ll find more tips about cultivating an inclusive workplace in this Recruitee article. A few notable mentions include:
Create safe spaces for your employees
Have a non-discrimination policy
Use inclusive language
Expand the company holiday calendar to include holidays that represent different religious beliefs
These may seem like small gestures, but they mean the world to many people, and they promote a workplace that’s keeping everyone’s happiness in mind.
Tip #5: Where you can, make things easier: Provide the right resources
There’s nothing more frustrating than being plopped into a job and not knowing what to do. It opens the door to unclear expectations, errors, and important tasks slipping through the cracks. And if it happens too often, it will affect your bottom line.
Equip your team with the necessary tools and technologies to perform their jobs, and make sure they know how to use them. Your practice’s processes must be clear and instructive. Implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs), workflows, and protocols for every task is a helpful way to provide clarity.
If you’re noticing your team is stretched a bit thin, explore third-party resources such as RCM services. Our services at DCS, for example, handle:
If your team seems overwhelmed by administrative tasks, RCM services are the right solution for you.
But wait! There are 5 more tips for creating a healthy work culture for your dental team
We have 5 additional work culture tips to help you radically improve your dental office’s environment — and you can have them for free.
Download Cultivate Commitment: Dental Culture Edition by filling out the form below.
You’ll immediately receive an email with a downloadable PDF that shares each tip, including resources and advice for implementation.
Your dental team deserves a happy and healthy work environment
To recap, we covered 5 tips on how to promote a healthy work environment at your dental office, including:
Foster an open-door policy: Communication is key
Support work-life balance: It’s a must in this new world
Invest in professional development: Show your team that you care about their future
Embrace diversity and inclusion: Value everyone’s contributions
Where you can, make things easier: Provide the right resources
And remember, there are 5 additional tips in our guide Cultivate Commitment: Dental Culture Edition. Use the form above to receive the free download.
Cultivating a healthy work culture in your dental practice isn't just a feel-good measure; it has real business impact. When your employees are motivated and satisfied, they’re likely to stay, which in turn improves patient care and eliminates hiring hassles.
You can shape a workplace that your dental team truly loves. A positive work culture isn't an employee perk; it's a strategic business asset that drives profitability and success.
The RCM services at DCS will give your team the opportunity to focus on maintaining and supporting their healthy, productive work environment. When our services remove a huge administrative burden from their shoulders, they will be able to focus on happily providing incredible patient care.