This is what the happiest dental practices have in common.

Happy dental practices lead to happy patients. How do you make sure that your staff stays happy?
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Happiness at work attracts a range of positive outcomes such as higher productivity levels, the desire to meet common goals and improved collaboration. But, what really constitutes a happy dental practice?

It might sound like a cliché; every year, research has shown that employees’ happiness directly influences an organization’s bottom line.

 A team of researchers from the University of Warwick found out that happy employees are 22% more productive than their discontented peers. According to Dr. Daniel Sgroi, one of the leading researchers behind the study, the reason for this is simple: happier employees use their time more effectively, increasing the speed at which they can perform without sacrificing quality.

Now, realizing that a happy workplace is fundamental to your practice is not the difficult part. Actually, the challenge is to come up with ways to keep your staff happy and productive all the time.

In this post, we have shared some tips synonymous with happy and successful dental practices. We believe you can elevate the happiness of your dental team by implementing them. 

Happy dental practices share a purpose.

To have a happy dental practice, staff need to be propelled by something greater than just earnings and profits. In his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, he states: “When the profit motive becomes unmoored from the purpose motive, bad things happen.” Profit and purpose need to go together to keep employees happy and motivated.

Purpose is actually what drives us forward.  When you don’t share a purpose with your employees, they lose focus and perspective. In turn, they become disengaged and dissatisfied with their role. On the other hand, if your dental team feels that the role they play makes a difference or blends perfectly with your practice’s vision, there is a high probability that they will be happier and more resilient.

This can be proven by a study carried out by scholars at the University of Alberta, which established that organizations that focused on employee purpose and meaning in their work experienced a 75% reduction in turnover and 60% drop in absenteeism.  

Happy dental practices appreciate and recognize hard-workers.

Feeling unappreciated is the number one reason Americans quit their jobs. You have read it right, number one! Ranking above low salary, limited leave days, and bad relationship with co-workers! A statistic as shocking as that one should grab the attention of all dentists and practice owners.

Happy dental practices offer consistent recognition and praise, and their team is always eager and excited to contribute to the practice-wide initiatives. So, what recognition ideas can you introduce in your practice?

For example, you can offer special recognition for employees who receive positive patient reviews online. You can create a quarterly or monthly award for members who most exemplify your practice’s core values.

Impromptu praise also works wonders.  Send out an email to the employee you see going above and beyond. Usually, the unexpectedness of the gesture can give it an unforgettable impact. 

In short, recognition and praise are among the easiest yet greatest missed opportunities for practice owners to create a happy work environment.  Are you ready to get started?

Happy dental practices offer flexibility and work-life balance.  

A fast-paced working life is quite common nowadays, and has shadowed the line between home and work. Employers start expecting much from their teams, eventually creating unnecessary pressure. 

According to research conducted by SHRM, 55% of employees mentioned work-life balance as a crucial aspect of their job satisfaction and happiness.  Successful practices know this and have designed a flexible work environment for their employees. 

Long gone is the era when one dental professional worked 40hrs/week, from 9-5, for the same practice for the entire career. Now, dental professionals relish flexibility and crave to be their own boss. Actually, according to a study done by McKinsey Global Institute, 20-30% of today’s workforce is part of the on-demand or gig economy. They are driven by the idea of setting their own hours and choosing where and when they want to work.  

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Happy practices host engaging team building events regularly.  

Fun leads to happiness. This may not be 100% factual, but it is pretty close. Happy dental practices host regular team-building events where employees laugh together, play together, and solve problems together.  

While employees tend to interact with their colleagues at the office, most of those encounters are formal, professional and even stiff. By coming up with opportunities for employees to connect in a less demanding, non-work setting, practices help staff build connections and friendships that are long-lasting.

Studies have already shown that workplace friendships are desirable. They can boost employee satisfaction and engagement considerably.  As Christine M. Riordan also wrote in the Harvard Business Review, friendships help staff feel better and work harder.  

Effective workplace communication 

Happy practices encourage their staff to share daily challenges and frustrations openly. According to a study by Gallup, communication is usually the basis of any good relationship, including the one between workers and their bosses.

As you might be aware, dental staff deal with more stressful and demanding events than, say, someone in the marketing or tech sector, particularly during this COVID-19 period. As such, candid workplace communication helps keep things positive and calm. Again, talking through the troubling stuff they experience can provide an outlet for stress.  

Happy practices hire happy personalities.

A happy outlook is contagious. Happy practices hire personalities that bring the much-needed laughter and mirth to the workplace.  

It is natural to lean towards candidates with remarkable achievements and qualifications when conducting interviews. However, overlooking personality can be a big mistake.

Always pay attention to other qualities when interviewing and note how you feel when a candidate is around you. Do they highlight negatives or positives? Do they seem to care about people and relationships? Their experience is crucial, but a dental professional who brings unhappiness to the office will kill motivation and productivity.

If you are considering bringing more happy personalities into your practice, adopt cloud-based staffing solutions. They are convenient, economical, and efficient. For instance, Cloud Dentistry, one of the leading web-based staffing platforms, has thousands of pre-vetted and peer-reviewed dental professionals, where you can rarely lack a suitable candidate for your practice.

Note, these are professionals who have already been reviewed and verified by your colleagues in the industry.  So the testimonials given can guide you a lot in picking the personality you fancy.

Getting started

After reading this post, would you say that your dental practice provides a happy working environment? What can you change to improve your employees’ happiness?

Identifying areas that need improvement is the first step towards creating a happier workplace. With a little effort, your practice could be where every dental professional wants to work.

All the best, as you inculcate a happy culture in your office!



Written By Reza Sanjar