Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Do you feel that every conversation these days circles right back to the core problem of finding (& retaining) the right people? A fully engaged employee is the holy grail that has become harder and harder to achieve. There are several external factors at play which we cannot control. But, we definitely can insulate ourse from the talent shortage by creating the right kind of work culture in our orthodontic practices.
What even is an engaged employee?
Employee engagement refers to how committed employees are to the business and its success. It is also encompassed by how motivated they are to complete their work, how closely they relate to the company values, and their willingness to collaborate and work as a team. As you can see, employee engagement is so much more than someone liking their job or not. A higher level of employee engagement always leads to happier team members, higher business productivity, reduced stress levels in the work environment and better patient care. Simply put, it is absolutely crucial to long term practice success.
Transforming every employees’ attitude can sound like a lot of work, but improving engagement doesn’t have to be an impossible undertaking. Many small initiatives can add up to make a massive difference. You CAN design a cohesive workplace culture that is desirable to new candidates and that the existing team members do not want to leave. A few things to keep in mind:
1. Define your practice mission and vision clearly and make sure your team understands it and is aligned with it. The need to belong to something bigger than ourselves is basic human nature. If the team can see a clear correlation between their actions and the goals of the organization, their motivation levels are sure to rise.
2. Compensate fairly so that your team members feel financially secure. Recognize and reward them for their hard work. Even a quick note of appreciation goes a long way!
3. Create a work environment that is psychologically safe. Your team members should not feel like they are walking on eggshells everytime they express themselves. Facilitate open dialogue so everyone feels safe sharing ideas and taking risks.
4. Encourage personal development for your team members. Take the time to know what fuels their passion and try to align it with their role in the practice. No one wants likes to think of themselves as stuck in a dead-end job. Chart a growth path for them that they can work towards. Personal development and professional satisfaction often go hand in hand.
5. Schedule one on one meetings with team members. This allows for regular opportunities when you discuss challenges, priorities and professional development. Having this platform is a building block for great communication within the team.
6. Track your employee retention and engagement success with KPIs. Believe it or not, it is not an intangible metric. Measuring turnover rates, profitability per employee, client satisfaction and several other metrics can give us great insight into what's working and what needs to be improved.
These are but a few of the several different ways to improve employee engagement and creating a workplace of your dreams. Changing the word culture and boosting team morale can feel like an insurmountable challenge but it can be done.
If you ready to reinvent your workplace culture or refine any other processes in your practice , I would love to hear from you!