Where have all the good employees gone?

I remember 2008.
And I’m sure a lot of you do too. Almost 10 years later, the American Dental Association published “The effect of the Great Recession on the demand for general oral health care and orthodontic care”.  They concluded:

“The downturn in the status of the general economy during the period of the Great Recession resulted in a decrease in the demand for general oral health care and orthodontic care in the United States. There were differences in the nature of the reduction its intensity, and the post-recession recovery between the 2 categories.”

There was a difference among practices in how they responded.

Fast forward to 2022.

“We can’t find qualified people.”
“I can’t even get people to show up for an interview.”
“We hire people and they don’t last more than a few weeks.”

Delta Dental predicted late last year that “Staffing will remain a major issue in the wake of the pandemic”.  Even earlier, the ADA Health Policy Institute  “found that 35.8% of owner dentists are currently recruiting dental assistants, 28.8% are seeking dental hygienists, 26.5% are looking to hire administrative staff and 13.1% are in search of associate dentists.  More than 85% of these dentists said that hiring for a position like dental hygienist was much more challenging than before the pandemic.”

What is a dental practice owner supposed to do?

Daniel Pink had the solution back in 2009. 
And it wasn’t signing bonuses, increased hourly rates, or a reduction in working hours.
It’s three things: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

In his 18 minute TED talk entitled: “The Puzzle of Motivation” he says:
“Too many organizations are making their policies about talent and people based on assumptions that are outdated, unexamined and rooted more in folklore than in science…The solution is NOT to entice people with a sweeter carrot or threaten people with a sharper stick.”

But, Kristie….

No Buts. That’s it. Autonomy. Mastery and Purpose.

And if your dental practice is lacking those three things, you’re probably going to be short-handed for the rest of your clinical career. So stop sweetening the carrots and sharpening your sticks. Get serious about creating a first-class cabin experience in your dental practice to attract high-value patients. Employees flock to those environments.

There was a way forward in 2008
& there is a way forward in 2022.

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