In the corporate world, office culture is an important element of a successful business. This is especially the case for modern startup businesses that want to attract and retain a certain type of employee. While office culture gets a lot of attention in the corporate world, oftentimes in the dental industry it’s not emphasized enough at individual practices.
So why is office culture important for your dental practice? Well, it comes down to a simple fact, really. Employees who enjoy where they work will perform better, and employees who perform at their best make for happy patients. Having happy patients leads to more production and ultimately, this means more revenue for your dental office. It creates a win-win situation for everyone involved: the patients, the staff, and the dentist. Having the right type of office culture will attract and keep the type of high-level staff members that are essential for a successful dental practice.
Creating a Positive Office Culture
Here’s a quick overview of some of the main factors that go into creating a great culture at your dental practice:
A Defined Purpose
The two worst things a dental practice can do for office culture is to first, not have a defined purpose, or next, having a purpose that is all about the bottom line. Yes, profits are a great by-product of great office culture, but it shouldn’t be the main purpose behind everything you do. Everyone at your office should have a mutual goal of helping patients understand and accept treatments so they can be healthier and happier because of a confident smile.
Staff Members Who Are Investments, Not Just Employees
No matter where they work, everyone wants to feel valued at their job. It’s important that staff members of a dental practice feel like they are needed for their skills and rewarded well for the effort they put forth at work. Viewing and compensating your staff members not just as employees, but as investments for your business can make a big difference in their attitude and performance on the job. A hygienist, assistant, or office manager who is praised for their work and knows they are compensated better than most of their peers in the industry is going to be happy to come to work and encouraged each day to perform their best.
Like-Minded Staff Members
A cohesive group of employees is essential for any successful dental practice. To accomplish this, it means that decision makers need to use a lot of caution in the hiring process to ensure that new employees will fit into the office culture well. However, this also means that decision makers need to be quick to fire when it’s clear that certain employees are detracting from the office culture that you’ve worked hard to create.
Do staff members at your office feel like they can be open about questions, concerns, and suggestions, or do they feel like they need to either just “deal with it”? A great office culture revolves around open communication between all staff members no matter where they fall on the hierarchy totem pole. It creates a feeling of equality and value in your culture where everyone can thrive.
Communicate Your Culture Through Marketing Materials
You may be surprised to know just how much of your unique office culture potential patients can get a feel for through your marketing materials before they even stop into your office. As you create your website or design your direct mail postcards, it’s important to communicate your defined purpose as a dental office, show faces of happy employees who will be working directly with patients, and include verbiage about the environment patients will experience that you’ve worked hard to create.
Creating a great office culture doesn’t happen automatically, and maintaining it requires a considerable amount of ongoing effort. However, it’s worth all of the resources and time you invest in it. A dental practice with a great office culture will continue to be a positive workplace for your employees and an ideal environment for your patients.