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  • Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE

Don't Let the Good Ones Leave

Do you really know what’s going on within your team? With the staffing shortages that are happening in dental offices today, it is more important than ever to keep our teams in place; if they are the right people for the job. The frustration I often see from practice owners and office managers is when a staff member leaves because they are unhappy, and they didn’t even know it.

Could this be happening to you?

There are several things that we see and hear when we go into a practice that you all should be aware of and should wrap your arms around before you have team members leave that you would like to keep:

  • Listen to what is happening in the office. 

    • Dental offices are so busy that it is easy to get lost in the chaos of it all but paying attention to what is happening around you will help you understand if there are problems before they grow. 

    • If you hear rumblings of unhappiness, address them head on without hesitation. This will create a happier environment for everyone in the office.

  • Don’t put blinders on – we see many practice owners and office managers want to ignore things that are happening in the office because either they are too busy or simply do not want to deal with it. Use your conflict resolution skills and talk about any issues that need to be addressed.

  • Be open to conversation – we tell team members often that they need to talk to their employers and get feedback that the employer doesn’t want to have the conversation. Don’t be that person. It is hard to have tough conversations. We understand that. But letting them fester is only going to make things worse. 

    • If the problem is with equipment, let the team member know honestly what you are doing to resolve the problem. If you cannot buy or fix something at this time, let them know that. Most people will appreciate your honesty and understand your situation.

    • If the problem is with another team member, ask them if they have first addressed it with that team member and tried to resolve the problem. They need to handle conflicts on their own if at all possible. If they have tried to resolve the situation and haven’t been successful, it is then time to intervene and have a discussion with the two of them to try and mediate what is happening.

  • Address misconduct – this is one of the biggest issues we see in practices. There are good employees that come to work on time and are working hard while they are there, but they see other employees getting away with bad behavior. Put yourself in their position, you are exhausted from a hard day’s work, while Sally got there 10 minutes late and has been on her phone most of the day doing as little as possible, and no one says anything to her…how frustrated are you? I understand as a manager or business owner you are frustrated too, but when you let those team members get away with this behavior and don’t address it, the morale of your team that is working and trying their hardest comes down very quickly. 

  • As a final thought, take 10 minutes to have a 'check-in' with individual team members on a quarterly basis, This gives them the voice that they may not feel was there before.

It has always been important to keep your good, hardworking team members onboard and working with your office, but with this staffing shortage it is now more important than ever.

Keep your ears open and don’t be afraid to have conversations. I speak from experience when I tell you that the hard conversations are generally harder in your head beforehand than they turn out to be when you have them.

Just address it and move forward. You and your team will be happy you did.


Janice Janssen, RDH, CFE, Consultant

At age 14, Janice Janssen got an after-school job working for her dentist. Twenty-something years later, she is the co-founder of Global Team Solutions and an expert in practice consulting. Besides hands-on experience, Janice has gained professional recognition for her hard work and commitment to excellence. She is co-author of OMG! Office Management Guide, the “bible” used in GTS training workshops. She is a member of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC), and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), which positions her as an expert in educating dentists to deter fraud and embezzlement in their practice.

Janice can be reached at:

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