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Inside Dentistry
May 2024
Volume 20, Issue 5

Ask the Experts: Staff Turnover

Roger P. Levin, DDS

I have more staff turnover in my practice now than ever before. I think my practice is a great place to work, and I provide an extremely competitive compensation package. What else should I be doing to keep people from leaving and make sure that new hires want to stay?

 You are not alone in your situation. Dentistry is facing one of its most challenging staffing crises ever. Today's team members want more than great compensation. Of course, they want their paychecks, but they also want to find a sense of purpose in their work and feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves. Ultimately, being able to provide this type of environment comes down to your ability to lead your team and create a strong, desirable practice culture.

Excellent leadership is a fundamental factor in building a successful practice and retaining a motivated team. It is the responsibility of the leader to establish and continuously reinforce the positive culture of the practice. From practice to practice, cultures can be very different. Everyone does not have to be best friends or workaholics. Everyone does not have to love their work. Everyone does not even have to like the patients. However, everyone must participate in a culture that is highly positive. Your practice's culture is not about individual desires and beliefs; it is about the collective desires and beliefs of the entire team. It is about individuals moving past what they want or don't want and moving toward what is best for everyone, which is ultimately good for them as well.

Keep in mind that building this type of culture may require making tough decisions regarding your current staff. During our 30-year study of the top 10% producing practices, we have found that many of the most successful practices have an extremely low tolerance for team members who refuse to participate in a positive and well-defined culture. Those people were replaced over time if they could not acclimate to the culture, and new team members were brought in that were a better fit.

There's no question that a happy and motivated team is instrumental to a dental practice's success. In order to create such a team, you must start by identifying the culture that you want to have, then you have to take the necessary steps to establish and maintain it.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with more than 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, Levin has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the United States and around the world.

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