Monthly Archives: July 2019

Dental Employee Compensation: Are You Paying the Right Amount?

Dentists who aren’t particularly business savvy and who don’t have a lot of experience running a practice can find determining staff compensation overwhelming.

In the DentistryIQ article “Dental practice compensation: How to do it right,” Sylvester Gonzalez, Director of Operations at Benevis Practice Services, an Atlanta-based Dental Service Organization, writes that it can be overwhelming to effectively manage dental team compensation, as it requires a careful review of finances, team member performance and comparable market salary data.

“Compensation is one of the highest controllable expenses of a dental practice,” Gonzalez writes. “Because financial and personnel skills aren’t usually taught in dental schools, it’s completely understandable why many dentists find these tasks somewhat daunting.”

To help dentists successfully manage practice compensation, Gonzalez gives four strategies.

1. Review profit growth

Gonzalez writes that in order to spend money, a practice needs to make money, which is why all compensation decisions must be based on the fiscal health of the practice.

He recommends to start by looking at annual revenue and profit growth. Staff raises and bonuses, he writes, should be based on overall practice revenue growth and increased profits. If the practice has no revenue or profit growth, Gonzalez recommends delaying raises.

“Many dentists feel obligated to give salary increases or bonuses, but doing so without any growth means they must likely take money out of their own pockets,” Gonzalez writes. “Team members should know upfront that raises or bonuses are dependent upon the practice meeting or exceeding projected revenue and profit goals.”

2. Evaluate competitive market compensation

The next thing to do, Gonzalez writes, is to look over what you’re paying your staff and make sure if it’s commensurate with market and industry standards. When they do this, many dentists learn they are actually overpaying or underpaying their staff.

Gonzales recommends routinely checking on market wage data and bonus practices for hygienists, dental assistants and front desk employees in your area because having these numbers will help establish appropriate compensation levels for both existing team members and new hires.

Reliable wage data is available from several online sources such as:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Salary.com

3. Gain employee buy-in

Employees perform better when they know they are valued and a vital part of the team.

Gonzalez writes that employees want transparency and a clear understanding of their compensation plan with no back-end surprises.

“Give employees the tools to help them perform their jobs well,” he writes. “Provide constructive feedback and coaching so they know how they’re doing. For the practice to reap rewards, everyone must do their best and work together.”

4. Develop a productive team

The first step in developing a productive, happy team is to realize that no employee is indispensable.

Sometimes, that employee deemed indispensable is one no one likes and are only motivated by pay increases because they are good at doing an important function for that practice.

“This situation causes dissatisfaction and tension within the team,” Gonzalez writes about indispensable employees.

To avoid this issue, Gonzalez suggests carefully detailing each team member’s job responsibilities, performance goals and expectations, along with requirements for positive attitudes and teamwork.

“All team members should do their jobs well and be positive team players,” he writes.

Putting strategies into practice

Once you do the above, complete Gonzales’ below action items to get the ball rolling on implementation.

  • Determine appropriate market pay scale for each position: Obtain a salary survey and establish salary bands. Salary bands are groupings of prevailing salary rates based upon employees’ or candidates’ level of experience. Determine entry-level, mid-career, and senior-level pay rates for each position. This valuable information guides dentists’ hiring and raise decisions.
  • Develop comprehensive job descriptions for each position: Think through each position’s duties and responsibilities. A good job description concisely explains required skills, duties, education level, and hours, so employees or candidates understand the position. The description should also include a synopsis of expected employee behavior. Be as accurate as possible so that employees know what to realistically expect. It’s up to the dentist to make sure employees do their jobs well. That’s why it’s important to be as specific as possible about all job responsibilities.
  • Explain the compensation process to your team: Answer questions and always be transparent. It’s essential that team members thoroughly understand their job responsibilities and expectations. Meet individually with team members to ensure their understanding of the compensation plan and expectations. Take time to answer questions. This process will pay handsome dividends in the long run.
  • Ensure team accountability based on responsibilities and performance standards: Don’t wait for year-end to inform your employees how they’re doing. Establish regular constructive feedback and coaching to improve performance with frequent reviews and evaluations. Your team will appreciate it! If an employee’s performance is not meeting expectations and the dentist doesn’t address it or provide help, there’s only one person to blame—the dentist.
  • Review revenue, team performance, and potential raises at fiscal or year-end:Determine top performers based on clearly communicated standards and reward them first. Next, look at employees who didn’t meet expectations and consider alternative options, that is, provide development or look for new talent. Have formal reviews with team members to discuss their performances versus expectations, and provide feedback about things done well and areas for improvement. Explain how decisions were made and always reward based on established standards. If possible, complete the review process at the same time every year. It sets a rhythm for you, the team, and the practice.

Biggest Dental Tech Trends in 2019

With each passing year, technology used in medical settings is advancing leaps and bounds, and more recently the dental industry has started to take advantage of it.

Nova Computer Solutions, an IT support company specializes in dental technology, compiled a list of the biggest anticipated technology trends of 2019 in the recent blog “What Are The Biggest Dental Technology Trends of 2019.”

“In 2019 and beyond, dental technology is expected to make treatment more comfortable and affordable,” reads the blog. “With the frenetic pace at which digital capabilities are evolving, these technologies will likely become even more highly-developed, allowing dental practices to carry out their work seamlessly.”

3D Printing

Three-dimensional printing is the fastest growing technological developments in the dental industry. Nova writes that dental labs are now using it to keep tasks–like denture bases and surgical guides–in house rather than outsourcing them.

Another advantage the blog mentions is that it can now be done more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

“When dentists no longer have to delegate the creation of oral apparatus to a third party, they can make these products and devices more readily available to patients, often at a lower cost,” reads the blog. “Industry leaders predict that the next big breakthrough in 3D printing in the oral healthcare arena will be the advent of permanent crowns.”

Cloud-Based Software

With so many applications now connected to the cloud, NOVA is not surprised that the platform has enhanced the capabilities of dental technology too.

Because the cloud allows both clinicians and patients to access information from any location in real time, this integrated system is transforming the healthcare and dental industries.

Dentists are now using these systems to maintain patient records and share information with practitioners in multiple locations, and clinicians and staff can access data they need — administrative, clinical and financial — within the same system.

“The cloud also makes it possible to access data on a more significant number and variety of devices,” the blog reads. “What used to only be available on a small amount of desktop computers can now be retrieved via laptop, smartphone and tablet as well. Tech developers have responded to this trend by improving communication channels– such as text and chat– and data security.”

Digital Impressions

NOVA writes that the days when patients bit down on putty to get impressions of their teeth are almost gone.

Images once taken with a foot petal are now captured with scanners that absorb large amounts of data in seconds, reads the blog.

“Current software allows for higher-quality renderings than those created through more traditional means,” the blog reads. “Information can be gathered much more quickly and conveniently– both for the patient and the practitioner. Today’s methods for taking impressions can also identify weaknesses in the process so that missing data can be supplied seamlessly, improving the accuracy of images captured and the speed at which this task can be accomplished.”

Digitizing of Tools and Treatments

NOVA believes that in the not-so-distant future, dental tools and procedures will become highly-digitized, allowing for less invasive treatments via laser technology. The painless treatments would eliminate the need for anesthesia and would shorten recovery times. They would also be much more beneficial for patients with special needs or those who have a fear of needles.

With the aforementioned technologies, NOVA predicts that dental practices could boost their bottom lines while improving service delivery by doing more with less.

“The benefits of these technologies will, in turn, make patients more likely to see the dentist on a regular basis, improving oral health among the general population and providing additional resources for clinicians to continue to customize and optimize their services,” the blog reads.

Benefits of Temping for Recent College Grads

With college graduation comes a lot of excitement.

No more early classes, no more staying up at night studying, no more tests.

But because graduating college could also be stressful, as finding the right job is often anxiety producing, Peter Vogt of Monster.com recommends temping for recent college graduates in his article “The Benefits of Temping for College Students and Grads.”

“Taking on temporary assignments can be a way for college students and new grads to do their own testing — with respect to their career plans, at least,” Vogt writes. By working for a temporary employment agency, they can test-drive potential careers, while saving time and money on the wrong ones.”

Vogt goes on to write that while temping is a great way for college students and recent graduates to make money while also learning new skills, it’s also very empowering and provides the rare chance to try out jobs in specific industries and companies without a long-term commitment.

Phil Blair, executive officer of Manpower Staffing Services of San Diego, the third-largest Manpower temp-firm franchise in the United States, told Vogt for the article that both the temp service and the temp employee are using each other to each’s gain.

“Students can temp to gain exposure to a specific industry-related skill set — for example, marketing, venture capital, law or banking — or to get a foot in the door of a specific company,” Blair said. “Meanwhile, the staffing agent is getting an opportunity to have a very bright and articulate candidate represent his or her firm in an important assignment that needs to be filled.”

Anna Ivey, author of The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions, told Vogt that because temping is temporary, new graduates can temp without any kind of resume penalty because they aren’t expected to stay in one position for a long time while they’re in school, adding that the career exploration upside is huge.

“And these days, even recent college graduates aren’t penalized for temping for a while, because it looks more professional for people to do their homework on different careers and niches by temping than to accept a series of ostensibly permanent jobs and being faithful to none,” Ivey said. “Employers would much rather see a serial temp than a serial job-hopper, even if the actual job experience ends up being the same on both types of resumes.”

If you’re a recent college grad, and you’re interested in temping in the dental industry, check out our website and available dental temp jobs at https://dentaljobmarketplace.com/jobs/


Managers Should Develop These Skills in 2019

A manager is one of the most important aspects of any workplace.

A manager keeps the place running. A manager cultivates the working environment. A manager can make all the difference between an employee who performs to the best of his or her ability and one who merely shows up.

So, what does it take to be a good manager?

In the Forbes article “The Five Most Important Skills for Managers to Develop in 2019,” Sally Percy shares the perspective of five academics, who each give one skill managers should focus on this year.

Curiosity

Karlien Vanderheyden, a professor in people management and leadership at Vlerick Business School in Belgium, says it’s important for managers to develop a strong level of curiosity with the acceleration of digital technologies in the workplace.

Vanderheyden thinks managers should be more open to new experiences while being more aware of what technologies could work best for their business and be willing to implement them.

“Being curious allows managers to better listen to their colleagues and workers, and to take on board new ideas that could benefit their organization,” said Vanderheyden. “It enables managers to consider new solutions to any obstacles that they might encounter, allowing them to react quicker and more effectively.”

Constant Learner

Thierry Picq, a professor of management and director of early makers development at Emlyon Business School in France, said tomorrow’s most critical competence is knowing how to learn.

Picq said managers who know their learning styles are able to take on new information and knowledge at a deeper, faster rate, allowing managers to keep up with the increasing pace of today’s business world. This also allows managers to act and react as quickly and successfully as possible.

Values Staff

Nadia-Yin Yu, an assistant professor of people and organization at NEOMA Business School in France, said managers need to recognize two-way communication between themselves and their employees as a more effective approach than the traditional top-down management style.

Yu said that good leaders empower employees by listening to their voices, which leads to them managing their businesses more effectively. However, she said, empowerment must be appropriately limited, as employees vision of objectives can be incomplete.

Willingness to Empower

Konstantin Korotov, a professor of organizational behavior at business school ESMT Berlin in Germany, thinks good managers empower their employees to take on more responsibilities themselves rather than checking in with them for everything.

“Korotov points out that true empowerment relies on employees feeling comfortable about making their own decisions based on the information they get and their connectivity to the rest of the organization,” Percy writes. “They would also need to be willing to accept their own responsibility for the decisions made. For some people, that may be a significant developmental task.”

Practical Perspective

Chia-Jung Tsay, an associate professor of organizational behavior at UCL School of Management in the U.K., believes managers can cultivate dynamic business environments by having a practical perspective, which means: realistically assessing the available options, systematically considering the characteristics of those options, and making efforts to understand the perspective and interests of other stakeholders.

By taking a more deliberate approach, Tsay said managers avoid making the less informed decisions that often happen under pressure, and they create opportunities to find synergies based on shared interests.