Combatting Turnover of All-Star Employees in a High Turnover Industry

Unfortunately, dental offices can experience high levels of turnover, with the average employee lasting less than 2 years at a given practice.  Each time an office experiences turnover of its all-star employees it will also experience a loss in profit.  All-star employees are those that can bring more income to the practice by maximizing internal referrals, effectively presenting treatment to patients, and diligently running and monitoring the recall system. Since these employees are vital to the practice’s success it is always worth the effort to do what you can to keep them in your practice.


Why would an all-star employee want to leave to begin with? Common reasons include, but are not limited to:

  • They are unchallenged and or bored
  • They are unable to use their natural talents
  • They don’t feel their job performance is recognized
  • They don’t buy into (or know about) the company vision
  • They don’t feel adequately compensated

It’s important to note that talented employees typically know they have options when it comes to employment and are usually looking for what that next best option is.

friendly dentist

If you want to keep your best employees then a culture needs to be created that makes your practice attractive to these employees.  This culture can be fostered by:

  • Compensating your key employees competitively. Keep in mind this is not just their hourly rate. Health insurance benefits, vacation time, and retirement contributions are all part of an employee’s compensation.
  • Make them a part of the vision for you company.  The more you can get your all-star employees actively working towards your vision for the future, the more likely they are going to become vested in the team you are trying to create.
  • Let them use their talents.  There are few people out there that enjoy doing what they are not good at.  All-star employees should be positioned in the office to spend most of their time maximizing their talents.  Not only will this improve their satisfaction with their job, it will also make sure you have the most productive people in each position.
  • Show them where they can advance to.  If your key employees don’t see how they can advance and grow in your practice, they often won’t stick around.  The more you can show them where they can go down the road, the more likely they are to stay.
  • Challenge, but don’t over burden. Make sure your all-stars are working on things that are at, or slightly above their pay grade.  Most talented employees enjoy a challenge, but like everyone else, don’t like being bombarded with busywork.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to keeping all-star employees in a practice.  However developing a culture suited to retaining key employees via the practice’s actions and policies will without a doubt make your business more successful in the long term.

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