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Inside Dental Technology
June 2018
Volume 9, Issue 6

Coworkers Carefully Chosen

How many of us feel as if we are wandering through our lives, searching for that one special person? It can be a romantic partner, close friend, or simply someone we can rely on and trust. It's funny how the one thing almost every person seeks also seems to be one of the most difficult to discover. Finding the right people with whom to surround ourselves seems even more challenging today.

In our technology-driven society, which has been fashioned to simplify many of life's difficulties, people nevertheless struggle with the age-old question of discovering soulmates, friends, and even trusted coworkers. Technology seems to dupe us into believing troubles can be resolved in seconds. As easy as it is to look for any sort of partner online, statistics show that today single people outnumber married people. Perhaps some human dilemmas are not as simple as swiping right on a photo.

Just like with a romantic relationship or a partnership, finding people who share similar interests, goals, and passions in the workplace proves exceedingly difficult. Almost every technician I speak with is looking for that perfect fit. Although the number of technicians in the US has increased slightly in recent years, the demand for technicians seems higher than ever. Finding any technician is difficult enough on its own, but finding the right fit is an ever more daunting task.

Regardless of the type or size of the laboratory, we are all looking for individuals with certain indispensable qualities. We want a technician who is responsible, takes initiative, and is well trained or willing to learn, or both. Yet, like the complex search for romantic partners, which arguably should not be solely based on a few simple features or qualities, our search for employees is not as simple as it may appear. Perhaps your laboratory needs an artist, a partner, an associate, or someone whose training would bring a novel skillset to your team. In the search for an employee to complement your laboratory's strengths, being clear about what you really want and expect from people is critical in successfully choosing what works in your environment.

Do not fall into the trap of impatience in the vetting process. If we can learn something from the people searching for their soulmates, it is that technology cannot always replace human interaction. The false assumption that the rapidity of technology is worth sacrificing time spent with another individual demonstrates that the vetting process may be one of the single most important aspects of our search. We cannot decipher if a technician is the right fit based only on their picture or credentials. It is essential that we take the time to make critical appraisals of the person with whom we may be spending a large amount of time or who may be representing our business. Yes, vetting a potential coworker takes time. But fast decisions and easy fixes usually do not pan out for the long haul on either side; often the people who show the most interest in vetting their potential coworkers and work environment are the ones who work out best.

Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT

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