I know what many people in the dental field may think about my profession. It’s soft. It’s about feelings. HR People are here to hire and fire everyone. Isn’t that what they do after all? There really isn’t a clear understanding of the link between HR and dental practice strategy.
I know this to be true because at a recent dental conference, I asked a team of well-known DSO leaders who they admired inside or outside of the dental field as it relates to cultivating a solid HR Strategy. I got crickets. Now, these are smart people so it makes me realize that HR is an unknown competitive advantage.
I believe that a solid HR Strategy is without question one of the highest imperatives for growing practices. But the need for HR Strategy is very new to dental which has historically consisted of a smaller “mom and pop” structure to generate revenue and operate. One office. Maybe two. Everyone is related and grew up in dental and wears a lot of home-spun hats.
With dental practices evolving to more complex, multi-location, cultural and disciplinary businesses, the time is right to treat these small to mid-sized groups with a complete organizational structure. This includes HR – just like the rest of the world.
I’d ask you to consider the value of a high performing organization where everyone is clear on roles and responsibilities, committed to the same goals and values, able to manage conflict with respect and honesty, is highly skilled and fully engaged. Compliance, competitive and creative compensation plans, HR systems that streamline clunky workflows are all part of the plan. What’s the value?
If you do nothing – you can continue to operate as you are today with 70% of your management team afraid to provide clear communication, direction and feedback. Alternatively, you can immediately increase your staff productivity by changing your culture. A recent survey by Gallup Polls indicated that you can increase your employee productivity and engagement (their willingness to give their very best everyday) by at least 25% by improving the communication skills alone of your managers. I’m not good at math but the last time I looked 25% of a $2M practice is something like $500,000. I don’t know about you but I could put that $500,000 to good use – investing in and Increasing the practice value.
So, what does the value of a great HR Strategy mean to you?
Paula Fontana – VP People & Culture, Maeva Dental Advisors