Workload too much?

Everyday you are fire fighting to complete the essential tasks of running a practice but each day more actions are added onto your list with no more time to do them. It’s like playing a game of snakes and ladders, you are steadily moving along, completing tasks and climbing the ladders and then stopping you in your tracks a new problem hits, down the snake you go. With every next shake of the dice you hope this time things will be different getting to climb all the ladders to come out as the winner, but the same thing keeps happening day in day out and your next throw of the dice leads you to another snake.

It’s a draining position to be in when your days are spent exhaustively trying to do the day job, run a practice, manage the team and complete all the admin. You know it isn’t going to get better so what do you do?

  • Delegate the workload         =>           (you’ve tried but it just doesn’t get done)
  • Carry on as you are              =>           (I’ll be ill if I do, it’s not an option)
  • Employ a manager to help  =>          (an extra pair of hands is something I really need)

Have you fallen out of love with your workplace?

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The start of the year is often the time when we reflect on our lives and wonder whether we’ve made the right choices in our careers. Lack of development opportunities, high pressure environments and little or no recognition can make us wonder whether it’s time for a change. Indeed, this year’s State of Workplace Happiness report reveals that across the board, all UK employees are gradually becoming unhappier. In 2017, 51 percent of people surveyed said they were happy at work most of the time compared to only 41% percent at the start of 2020.

Dentistry. It’s another world.

Dentistry, it’s an indispensable profession and let’s be honest, there’s excellent job security. No robot or technology is going to take your place anytime soon. On the downside, dental roles aren’t always the most joyous or fulfilling. Patients use your service out of necessity, are often fearful and can be disgruntled at having to pay for a service that many believe should be still be free on the NHS. Meanwhile, dental staff fall under the increasing pressures of higher targets, increased bureaucracy, lower budgets and increased regulation. Is it any wonder that those who work in dentistry are almost twice as likely to feel dissatisfied with life compared with the rest of the population?

Make your practice a place that your employees love

The 2020 State of Happiness workplace report found that happy employees are 20 per cent more productive, so why not take steps now to make your practice a lovelier place to work?

Encourage social interaction and engagement

New research by The Institute of Leadership & Management reveals workplace friendships are key to keeping people happy in their role. 77% of survey respondents cited good relationships with colleagues as the most important factor in determining job satisfaction, even rating it as more of a factor than their pay. Holding away days or the occasional social evening will help colleagues build rapport that will improve trust and aid cooperation when at work.

Give everyone a contributing role

Employees that value their purpose and understand how they are making a genuine contribution to the organisation they work for feel more satisfied at work, particularly if they have an influence in how a business is run. Team meetings are good for letting colleagues know about any changes to processes and procedures, but they can also be used to gather useful feedback and observations from staff who are working on the front line. Dental nurses and hygienists may notice problems that management staff may not and can provide useful suggestions for business improvement.

Invest in communications development for your team

From the dental receptionist to the 30-year experienced dentist, everyone needs to advance their skills and knowledge throughout their career. Despite this, many practices don’t provide enough training, particularly in softer skills such as communication. In 2019, Dentistry.co.uk reported that over 65% of dentists have struggled to communicate with their patients, and more than 60% sometimes found that patients hadn’t understood what they were being told. Communication workshops not only help staff build better rapport with their patients, but can also improve working relationships. A surprising two-thirds of dentists also felt that they could make more money if they just improved their communication.

Applying just a few simple changes will certainly boost employee morale and can also ensure that your staff stick with you for longer, offering greater continuity and consistency in your practice and an all-round better client experience.

If you’re looking for new or temporary staff, why not give us a call?  With 10 years in dental recruitment, we know what works and what doesn’t. We can find the best people for your practice. Call us today on 01274 722122.

Ensure staff absence is covered legally

Managing staff absence in January is a frequent challenge for practice managers. Locums are high in demand and short in supply and there’s the added pressure of ensuring that staff costs remain within budget. It can be tempting to hire that quick cash-in-hand locum at an attractive rate, even when supplied through a third party. No tax and no deductions save a lot of money and a lot of administration too.

Hiring staff in this way has its ramifications. Staff who are paying tax, National Insurance, pension contributions, and other deductions begin to wonder why they bother and the animosity and resentment soon creep in. Employee’s salaries are often kept low because their value is being correlated against those who aren’t paying tax. It’s unfair and demoralising. On the other hand, the practice thinks it’s on to a winner. Cheap, uncomplicated labour, what’s not to like? Unless of course, there’s an investigation.

The simplicity of reporting the non-payment of tax through the anonymous government form at https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/shortforms/form/TEH_IRF means that any practice could become subject to an investigation. If this goes ahead, even if the practice is hiring locums through a third party, it will be asked to show that it has performed due diligence in the following areas:

1) Does the agent have a payroll system?
2) What is the agent’s employer PAYE reference number?
3) Will the tax and NI be collected and how will the locum be paid?
4) If someone has declared themselves self-employed, what’s their UTR number?

If there are unpaid taxes and fines, these may be levied on the dental practice and the information may make its way to the GDC, who are not keen on fraud. Let’s also not forget the cost to the public purse. Money collected from taxes is used to fund the NHS, schools, the fire service, the police and the many other services we depend on.

Emergence of ‘your money’ Apps

Stumbled across a web site called Money Dashboard. Its a very interesting development, a web site that brings all your finances to one easy to reach location. It gets the information directly from bank accounts… yes you have give them those details we are told relentlessly not to give, pass word , usernames and memorable information… feels wrong. But the outcome is, organised.

Definitely worth a look.

Cv and photos

Should cv’s have pictures on them? 

Only ask as it seems more and more do, I always thought it best to let the qualifications and experiences etc do the talking but now, with LinkedIn etc we all do the research anyway into whose applying, (don’t pretend you don’t) so is it harmful or enhancing ? 

Thinking for the day 

As an employee, having your work scrutinised is the best thing that could happen. Embrace it, hell, encourage it.

Your either doing ace, in which case it’s good to know…. You now have a platform on which to stretch yourself further. Try new shit… Or toss it off, do less. Whatever.

Or your not, which is equally good to know.

You don’t like what your doing, change it. Your not achieving what’s needed, ask questions, listen, read and pick a path to improve. It may take many paths to get there.

Understand that we must learn from failure to simply succeed is rare and evidence of ‘lack of challenge’.

Now it’s not acceptable to simply take positives out of every situation, but to appreciate they exist, will keep you happy, balanced and aware that your not all bad.

Tips for Interviews

1. Decide if you want the job.

2. Research the company, the role and any key personnel/policies/products.

3. Run through common interview questions, practicing your answers and developing how you want them to be received.

4. Dress smart and comfortable.

5. Arrive at the location 45 mins early but don’t go in till 10 mins before the interview.

6. Firm introductions. Practice your hand shake, be clear with your name and listen to instructions.

7. This is a sales pitch. First rule of sales is listen to what the customer wants, ask a few open ended questions, find out what they want.

8. During the interview be focused on getting the job. If the job has aspects you aren’t comfortable with, do ask for clarification on these areas, but don’t decide that the job isn’t for you, mid interview. That can be done after it’s been offered to you and you have had space to think about the whole picture.

9. Ask questions, you’ll be given the opportunity, perhaps during the interview or at the end, it’s your opportunity to look interested and informed.

10. Good luck.