Few things are more frustrating to dentists than to experience the conflicts and stress that ultimately result in staff turnover. Many dentists go through periods where they constantly go through staff, and it’s enough to make doctors wonder if something is wrong with their practice.
A novel approach to analyzing turnover occurred at Lovelace Hospital Systems in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The hospital experienced high turnover with nurses. Instead of focusing on why people were leaving, the hospital explored why nurses were staying.
An interesting thing occurred during conversations with long-term nurses. These individuals, who discussed feeling tired and overworked at times, immediately perked up while talking about how much the nursing profession meant to them. The hospital realized that long-term nurses were extremely loyal to their profession; therefore management made it a priority to help nurses cultivate their identity. Turnover decreased by thirty percent over the next year.
When I co-facilitate performance reviews with dentists, I notice a similar pattern when dentists and team members discuss their passion for patient care. Dentists and long-term dental teams connect with this identity. And when practices foster this passion for patient care and reward team members for doing what’s best for the patient, long-term teams are created.
If you want to minimize turnover, focus on why good team members stay. Then nourish the identity that connects you and your team to the dental care you provide.