MME: Retain More, Stress Less: How Can You Maintain a Stable Team? | Glenda Acevedo

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Are you struggling with retaining employees in your dental practice? In this eye-opening episode, Glenda Acevedo, a seasoned scholar in employee retention strategies, unravels the crux and possible remedies for the high turnover rates frequently witnessed in dental practices. Glenda takes us through a systematic approach to bolster employee retention by tackling two main dilemmas - employees leaving prematurely and employees demanding more wages than the practice can comfortably afford. With a wealth of wisdom extracted from her corporate America experience, she explains the immense value of applying effective onboarding systems, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and creating a detailed roadmap for engagement and progression within a dental practice.

Moreover, she introduces us to a paradigm shift in goal setting within organizations, urging dental practice owners to leverage team-centric goals over individual-centric ones. Glenda firmly believes that this method gives employees a sense of belonging and teamwork, inspiring them to pull together for the overall success of the practice. This episode is packed with innovative insights to help you revolutionize your employee retention strategies and create a thriving and stable workforce.

What You'll Learn in This Episode:

  • Understanding the significance and challenges of employee retention in dental practices.
  • The role of effective onboarding systems in employee retention.
  • The benefits of providing clear roles and responsibilities to your staff.
  • How to create a roadmap for success within your dental practice.
  • The impact of setting team goals versus individual goals in fostering a culture of teamwork.

Push play and let's take your dental practice to a whole new level of stability and success!

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Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Hey, Glenda. So talk to us. What's one piece of advice you can give us this Monday morning?

Glenda: Hi, Michael. Thank you for having me on. Um, I would have to say if I wanted to give a dental practice one piece of advice, it would probably be around employee retention. I know that so many dental practices are really struggling with this issue.

Um, there's a couple of different things going on it with it. In my mind, you've got people that don't want to stay. They're only there for a very short period of time. they're leaving. Or you have the other side of the coin where you have people kind of holding the business owners hostage. for more money and in most cases more money that the practice is really not in the position to be able to pay.

And so I would like to address this today and give practice owners some ideas around what they might be able to do to encourage employees to stay longer term. I know it's a challenge hiring right now, but there are so many options for hiring new employees, including going to grocery stores and finding people in good customer service or to restaurants or to spas and finding people that are really good at their job and providing customer service.

If you have systems in place, which happens to be my specialty, um, I help businesses document their systems. And so onboarding systems is just one part of what I do. But the reason I'm talking about that is because when you hire employees, the one thing they want is to be trained. developed and to clearly understand the roles and responsibilities.

And so when I talk about this, if you don't have those types of systems in place, if you can't bring someone in and show them how to do their job, develop them in that role and actually get them a roadmap of how to achieve success, they're probably not going to turn into a long term employee. So every practice should have that.

And I think I think the reason I'm so passionate around this area, in my previous life, as I like to say, I spent 18 years in corporate America at a fortune 500 company as a salesperson, I can tell you at the beginning of every year. I always had a roadmap. Of what I had to accomplish that year, what were the gates for me to achieve my bonus and to reach each of those gates.

Now those gates were always derived based on the company's goals for the year. And so when I met my goals. and earn that big paycheck. So did the company, they reached their goals. So I'm fairly new to dentistry. I've only been in this community for about three years, but I think every dental practice should be like a sales organization.

We should outline the roles and responsibilities for every single position, and we should give every employee a roadmap to success. And how they achieve that in the practice, because people, when they have something to strive for, especially money, they typically want to put it all in, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend doing individual goals.

There could be some individual, but I'd recommend team goals because we want to encourage our team members to work together and put them in a position to where they have to work together to achieve the overall goal of the practice. So again, it always goes back. If our employees win, so does our dental practice win.

So I'd honestly like to see every business owner put the onboarding systems in place to train their employees, to develop them, to see their path, that they can grow within the business to become more than what they are today, because don't we all want to achieve success in what we do in life? We all want to know what do we do to get better, to do more, to earn more, to become a higher level within the company.

So how do I do that?

Michael: Gotcha. That's what you want them to ask them. You want them to ask the practice owner. So then if we rewind a little bit, you mentioned the roadmap to achieve success. What does this roadmap look?

Glenda: Well, I think the roadmap is going to be a little bit different for each employee, but the roadmap has to come from the business owner's goals.

So what are the goals of the business and how can we take those goals and roll it into the day to day activities of every employee? And when you do that. You create a step by step process again. We're circling back to systems were circling back to how do we perform our jobs? And what do we have to do in our day to day activities to do that?

Now that we could be talking about the front desk, we could be talking about clinical. And if we were switching over to talk about clinical, it may be making sure that we're adding fluoride for every patient that comes in the door. And perhaps that's one of our goals. It may be a small cell, but a cell to every single patient that comes through the door would certainly increase the revenue of the business overall.

There are many ways that we can do that in just understanding and looking at our business, defining what are we doing today. What could we do differently tomorrow? How do we work this into the daily activities of our employees? And again, I know I keep circling you back, but it's really by creating systems and training our employees to understand what our goals are.

How they follow those steps. And typically what I do to support that is I create the step by step systems, but I also create the checklist, which really simplifies it for the employees to do that. So every one of these pieces, Michael always goes back to creating the training to train our employees to do what we need them to do inside of our business.

And there's another part to that. And it's something I always like to talk about because business owners. Our managers are often quick to blame employees when something goes wrong. But my thought process behind that is we should always blame the system first because typically it is our system. Either we don't have a system or system is broken.

Either that or employees are not following them. But we need to identify which one of those are and we want to support our employees, not blame them. And so we always need to take a deeper dive into why is this happening and what can we do to resolve the issue to support our employees so we get it right every time, or at least achieve to get it right every time.

Michael: Can you give me. a team goal example. So you know how you said individually, you don't recommend it. You recommend it as like a team. What would be an example?

Glenda: Well, we could even take the clinical as an example. If every one of our hygienist that has a patient comes in, sells a fluoride case or adds fluoride to their treatment, And at the end of the day or at the end of the week, the month, whatever that how the goals are set up, we have to promote it as a team.

We need the entire team to come forward and we need everyone to try to sell this. And we don't want to put it at where you have to do everyone. We want to give them a goal to be able to reach and to reach beyond that. So, there's all types of different goals that you can put in place to support one another in different ways.

It might be the front desk with, maybe we're working with a marketing company, and maybe it's on how many leads can we convert? How can we support one another in converting leads in closing treatment cases? So it could be case acceptance. So there's a number of different ways that you could combine that and turn it into team goals with working together.

We really have to break down what the goals again are of the practice. And what does that look like when we actually roll it to the team and how can we combine them together with something that makes sense because we want everyone to achieve for individual results, but also team results, because again, we want to encourage teamwork.

Michael: Okay. That's good. I like that a lot. What happens if we are in the case, let's just say we're listening right now. Sounds great. Great. But we're in that part where we're feeling like a hostage, where if we even implement this, they're like, why are you going to give us a raise to do this? What do we

Glenda: do?

I think that is a great question. And I happened to be at an office last week, working with the client and this hostage situation happened to be going on with their entire team at two locations. They were all demanding a higher wage. And so what we basically did was break it down because they were comparing their hourly rate to what they would get if they were a temporary hire.

As temps, they were making 55 an hour. So they wanted their doctors to raise them to 55 an hour, but what they were not taking into consideration were, the 4 percent match that they were receiving and all of the money that they invested, they had an investment plan. They had benefits. This company had even given them at one point, a payout at the end of the year.

of like 10, 000 per employee. This office was going over and above with delivering results for their employees. And yet the employees were not taking that into consideration. So we talked about that with each employee and ask him, do you need benefits? Because if you don't want the benefits, we may be able to afford to pay you a little bit more per hour.

But if the benefits are important, it might be something you want to consider. Also, in the temporary position, is that going to be full time work for you? Because I'm providing you with full time hours when you work for me. And this has been a long term arrangement. The other thing that we did was to actually analyze the practice numbers.

where they were, their percent of payroll up against what the average is. And what we found was the company, the practice was already over by at least 5 percent in their payroll. So the only way that practice could realistically. afford to give them the raise they wanted is if they were to improve their production.

So we turned it back on the employees and said, okay, we'll consider the raise, but this is what we need from you. And so one of the programs that we introduced again, going back to fluoride, which is something really simple to sell is. You need to include a fluoride case with every one of these and as we improve our numbers and our production, and we go from 30 percent back down to 20 or 25 percent in the right range, now we can afford to talk about giving you a raise.

But we need you to work with us, and being able to make sure that we're hitting the numbers that we need to hit as well. And so it's all about how you position that conversation.

Michael: Glenda, thank you so much for being with me on this Monday morning episode.