10 Employee Retention Strategies for Your Practice  

What is Employee retention:  

Employee retention is the ability of an organization to keep its employees long-term. A dental practice’s retention rate determines the stability and productivity of its workforce and influences its business performance overall.  

To reduce employee turnover many businesses will create an employee retention strategy. These strategies help attract and maintain qualified employees.  

Why You Need an Employee Retention Strategy:  

Employee retention helps your dental practice save money. Employee turnover is expensive. The costs related to hiring and training a new employee are high. Retaining employees reduces this cost and can save your practice money.  

Employee turnover costs your practice in other ways as well. When employees quit, others must take on their responsibilities. Overworked employees are less likely to perform at their peak due to a decrease of motivation.  

Most reasons for employee turnover are preventable with a good employee retention strategy. And with a longstanding staff, your human resources costs decrease, customer loyalty increases, and your staff’s expertise grows.  

10 Strategies to retain employees  

Hire the Right Employees  

Employee retention starts during the hiring process. A candidate may have great skills, but the most important thing is if they are a cultural fit. If a new employee doesn’t fit in with your practice’s culture, then they will likely quit and find another practice that they do. When hiring, it is important to identify candidates that share your outlook and will stay with your practice long-term. We recommend hiring for values first, culture fit second, and skills third. This way you hire an employee that will be with your practice for the long run.  

Improve Your Onboarding Process 

Improving your onboarding process is another essential step to retaining employees. Take time to develop a set orientation program for all new hires. Make sure to include a training period in which you create clear work objectives and assign specific responsibilities. No employee wants to do something they don’t know how to do. By having a set onboarding and orientation program that creates clear expectations for an employee’s role, you reduce employee confusion and help them stay at your practice.  

Create a Culture Employees are Proud of  

Culture is a large reason employees choose to leave or to stay in a position. Be sure to develop a vision for your practice that brings your values to life. When employees are proud of a business’s vision and values, they are more likely to stay. Another key element to a culture that encourages retention, is employee relationships. Encourage professional working relationships among your employees by doing team-building activities or starting a mentor or buddy program. This way all employees feel like they have friends at work.  

Educate and Develop Employees 

Employees need to feel like they are growing in their position, or they may seek out new opportunities. Providing ongoing education and training opportunities to help shape your employees’ growth and development is a great way to encourage retention.  

Exercise Good Leadership Skills  

Many employees quit bosses, not jobs. To retain employees, it is essential to exercise good leadership skills. Make sure your practice has a proper hierarchy, and everyone knows who they report to. Ensure that each person managing employees takes time to bond with employees, maintains commitments, and connects with employees regularly. Each of these things earns the trust of employees and keeps them around for a long time.  

Encourage Communication and Feedback  

Communication is another important employee retention skill. Encourage a culture of open communication and feedback at your practice. Ask employees for feedback and listen when they communicate. Be sure that you are giving continuous feedback to your employees on their performance. And provide as much positive feedback as possible. Open communication allows employees to share concerns, and you can mitigate them before they leave your practice.  

Prevent Burnout  

Burnout is another major cause of employee turnover. Prevent burnout by focusing on employee wellbeing. Create a safe and clean work environment. And make sure your employees are not overworked or overwhelmed. Offering adequate rest periods for employees can help prevent overworked employees. If you can help your employees avoid symptoms of burnout, they will stay with your practice longer.  

Appreciate Your Employees  

Appreciation goes a long way in employee retention. No employee will stay with a business where they do not feel appreciated. Celebrate your employees’ milestones, both big and small. Even a simple card for a birthday or work anniversary can go a long way in building employee satisfaction. Generating peer-to-peer recognition can also help increase employee satisfaction.  

Engage Employees 

Making employee engagement possible can also help retain employees. When employees feel included and like their voice is heard, they are more likely to stay in a position. Providing autonomy and choice in their job duties can also make them feel more involved, and in charge of their position and encourage retention.  

Create a Flexible Work Environment  

When you are flexible with employees, they are less likely to quit because of family and other non-work commitments and responsibilities. Prioritizing a healthy work-life balance, allows employees to feel comfortable in their position long term. Create schedules for employees that work with their lifestyles encourages them to stay with your practice. You can also encourage employees to stay by reducing workdays. Even just offering every other Friday off can be a great incentive to hire and retain talented employees.  

Each of these strategies can help you retain your talented team members. Take time to think about which would be the most beneficial for your employees and implement them. Turnover is expensive and time-consuming, but it is also preventable. Preventing employee turnover helps your practice be more successful and profitable.  

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