Posted by & filed under Management

The Challenge of Employee Discontent

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the challenges we face extend beyond the patient’s chair. As leaders in orthodontics, it’s crucial to recognize the growing issue of employee discontent within our teams. Despite increased investments in employee benefits during the pandemic, many orthodontic professionals find themselves grappling with rising dissatisfaction among their valuable staff.

Stephan Scholl, CEO of Alight Solutions, rightly pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal article by Vanessa Fuhrmans and Lindsay Ellis that increased spending on benefits doesn’t always translate into happier employees. “In an Alight survey of 2,000 U.S. employees this year, 34% said they often dread starting their workday—an 11-percentage-point rise since 2020,” according to Scholl, “corporate clients have reported mental-health claims and costs from employee turnover are rising.”

Fuhrmans and Ellis continue, “Despite wage increases, more paid time off and greater control over where they work, the number of U.S. workers who say they are angry, stressed and disengaged is climbing, according to Gallup’s 2023 workplace report. Meanwhile, a BambooHR analysis of data from more than 57,000 workers shows job-satisfaction scores have fallen to their lowest point since early 2020, after a 10% drop this year alone.”

Benjamin Granger, Chief Workplace Psychologist at Qualtrics, points to a significant factor contributing to the issue: a notable percentage of workers are newcomers to their roles due to a surge in job-switching. He highlights a common oversight by employers who prioritize hiring over the crucial process of effectively integrating new employees, resulting in many feeling disoriented. Additionally, in some instances, employees have realized that seemingly attractive new positions weren’t as fitting as initially anticipated.

This rings especially true in our field, where team dynamics play a pivotal role in the overall success of an orthodontic practice. The first step towards fostering a positive work environment begins with effective onboarding and the seamless integration of new team members.

Navigating the New Hire Challenge

The influx of new talent into orthodontic practices, coupled with the record levels of job-switching, poses a unique challenge. To ensure the success and happiness of your team, it’s essential to prioritize the onboarding process. Granger emphasizes the importance of situating new employees well.

Here are a few suggestions to enhance your onboarding process:

Comprehensive Orientation Programs: Develop thorough orientation programs that go beyond the basics. Introduce new hires to the practice’s culture, values, and team dynamics. Make them feel like an integral part of the orthodontic team from day one.

Mentorship Programs: Assign experienced team members as mentors to new hires. This fosters a sense of support and provides a go-to person for questions and guidance. Mentorship programs can significantly reduce the feeling of being adrift for newcomers.

Regular Check-ins and Feedback: Implement regular check-ins to gauge how new employees are adjusting. Encourage open communication and provide constructive feedback. This not only helps in addressing concerns promptly but also signals a commitment to their professional development. Sean Barnard and I discussed this strategy on his excellent Ask the Expert interview, now streaming here.

Clear Job Expectations: Ensure that job roles and expectations are clearly communicated from the start. Misaligned expectations can lead to dissatisfaction, and transparent communication is key to fostering a positive work environment.

Building a Stronger Orthodontic Team Together

As orthodontic leaders, we have the power to shape not only the smiles of our patients but also the work experiences of our teams. By investing in thoughtful onboarding processes and prioritizing the well-being of our employees, we can build a cohesive and satisfied team that contributes to the success of our practices.

Let’s work together to create orthodontic environments where every team member feels valued, supported, and excited to contribute their best to our shared mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Unlock Your Potential & Grow Your Legacy