Keeping morale up

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  Posted by: The Probe      10th September 2021

For 12 to 18 months, everyone has been put to the test. Constant change, prolonged uncertainty and all the resulting personal and professional insecurities have played havoc with people’s mental and physical wellbeing. However, the past few months have brought a much-needed break from all the difficulties. The country has been unified with a stella performance from the young English football team, an unpredictable Wimbledon tournament and the Tokyo Summer Olympics. The opportunity to return to some normality in our everyday lives enabled many of us finally see friends and family we had been apart from for too long, as we also returned to hobbies and activities that we love too.

All of these things and more meant that spirits were raised over the summer months. Even when facing local restrictions again, life just seemed a little more optimistic in the sun. How much this translated into the dental profession varied significantly between locations, practices and teams. However, few will have escaped at least a small improvement in moods and the focus for practice owners right now should very much be on prolonging happiness and comfort among the team.

Happy staff happy life?

When you’re happier in life, it’s easier to be happier at work – and happy workers are essential for any successful business. Did you know that happy workers are also better workers? A study[i] found that happy employees working for a telecommunication firm made more calls and converted more calls to sales, leading to significantly enhanced productivity. Similar results have been found in the healthcare sector, with employee satisfaction linked to improved patient perceptions for quality of care they receive.[ii] [iii]

As such, a content dental team has the potential to deliver several benefits. First and foremost, the quality of patient services delivered is likely to be higher. This not only means that patients are better cared for, but can also lead to a greater number of positive reviews and patient referrals for an enhanced practice reputation. Consequently, business growth may be supported or accelerated, encouraging stability at a time when it has never been so important.

Of course, contentment among the team is great for individuals as well. They will be able to enjoy their work more and are more likely to engage with their colleagues, their employer and the business in general. Stronger emotional ties to the organisation has actually been associated with lower staff turnover.[iv] In a profession where team retention is key to support continuity of patient care with highly skilled and experienced professionals, a happy team is definitely advantageous.

Maintaining team morale

There are several factors that can impact staff satisfaction and their willingness to remain with a company. These include[v] pay, opportunity for growth, skill development, job security, relationships with and trust in management, working conditions and business organisation – among others. The vast majority of these are well within the control of the business and can be managed with a clearly communicated practice culture and daily protocols. There are also some areas where you may be able to capitalise on the benefits without negatively impacting the business. For example, it might not be financially viable to implement pay rises right now, but could you offer other employee benefits by teaming up with local restaurants or gyms to provide staff with discounts instead? Alternatively, you could consider offering extended holiday to team members that have gone above and beyond to show your appreciation and ensure they know they are valued.

When it comes to career progression, there are various options available to you to help your team advance as well. Your practice could partner with a training provider to make the learning of new skills more accessible or affordable for the team. To provide further educational opportunities and to inspire individuals, why not take them to an event like the British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2022? With lectures, seminars and workshops designed to cater for the learning needs, clinical interests and personal preferences of the entire dental team, this is a fantastic event for all dental professionals to discover new techniques, products and training programmes. It will also be the ideal place to catch up with friends and colleagues from across the country, to network with peers and trade representatives for some much-needed face-to-face interaction. What’s more, it’s free for delegates to attend, so is highly cost-effective for your practice while hugely worthwhile for your team.

Staying positive

Though we cannot predict how the following few months will go, the value of remaining positive and raising team morale is high. Dentistry is already a stressful profession and the added pressures dental teams continue to face every day make life even more difficult for individuals. Boosting morale in your practice and helping everyone to enjoy what they do as much as possible is definitely a step in the right direction.

 

The next British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show will be held on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th May 2022, Birmingham NEC, co-located with DTS.

For more information, visit www.thedentistryshow.co.uk, call 020 7348 5270 or email dentistry@closerstillmedia.com

 

 

[i] Bellet C, De Neve JE, Ward G. Does employee happiness have an impact on productivity? Saïd Business School WP. 2-19.13 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3470734 [Accessed July 2021]

[ii] Atkins PM, Marshall BS, Javalgi RG. Happy employees lead to loyal patients. Survey of nurses and patients shows a strong link between employee satisfaction and patient loyalty. J Health Care Mark. Winter. 1996. 16(4);14-23

[iii] Department of Health. A compendium of Factsheets: Wellbeing Across the Lifecourse. Healthcare sector staff and wellbeing, service delivery and health outcomes. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/277591/Staff_wellbeing__service_delivery_and_health_outcomes.pdf [Accessed July 2021]

[iv] Wyld D. Do happier employees really stay longer? Academy of Management Perspectives. February 2014. 28(1). Online only http://dx.doi.org/10.5465/amp.2014.0023

[v] IRABOR, I. E. & OKOLIE, U. C. (2019). “A Review of Employees’ Job Satisfaction and Its Affect on Their Retention.” Annals of Spiru Haret University. Economic Series, 19(2), 93-114, doi: https://doi.org/ 10.26458/1924


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