5 Proven Ways to Improve Healthcare Employee Retention and Keep Top Dentists and Specialists Long-Term

Last updated on November 21st, 2023

In the highly competitive dental job market, an excellent recruiting strategy that helps you attract the right professionals is a great place to start. But what are you doing to keep those professionals once you’ve hired them? Having a proper healthcare employee retention strategy in place is paramount.

Why Does a Dental Employee Strategy Matter?

Replacing a dentist or dental specialist — such as an orthodontist, endodontist, or pediatric dentist — can be costly. These costs include the following:

  • Loss of productivity as you onboard and train a new staff member.
  • A breakdown in employee engagement as a familiar dentist leaves and a new one arrives.
  • How long it takes your new employee to reach the same level of productivity as the previous dentist. 

Losing employees is costly for practices and organizations. Hiring, transitioning, and training add stress and can affect patient care. No one wins!

We’ve narrowed down the key components of the best dental employee retention strategy. Follow along to start improving your healthcare employee retention efforts today. 

5 Ways to Improve Healthcare Employee Retention 


#1 Offer a Competitive Compensation Package to Your Dentists and Dental Specialists

When determining compensation, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges dentists and specialists face. If your organization is easy to leave for better pay and benefits elsewhere, you can be sure that’s just what will happen. 

The most apparent challenge a new dentist in your practice or organization will face is that they won’t be able to fill their schedule overnight. It takes time to grow a patient base. High-quality candidates will seek positions that offer a minimum daily guarantee. This guarantee ensures a smooth transition for your candidate. 

You can add signing and relocation bonuses to attract top candidates. These bonuses are typically offered as a lump sum payment a candidate receives upon signing. They receive the lump sum on the condition that payments are accrued over time. For example, if your candidate signs a two-year contract but leaves after one year, they would owe half of their signing bonus back to your organization. 

Both of the above options are fantastic ways to retain your employees early on. However, a competitive salary with solid health benefits is crucial in the long run. These benefits should include a medical, dental, and vision insurance plan, but employee wellbeing and benefits can go beyond this standard offer.

#2 Prioritize Your Employees’ Wellbeing

Health-building benefits that support employees inside and outside the office are valuable. These benefits will help employees avoid burnout — which can lead to medical mistakes with patients and contribute to employee turnover. A few additional benefits and employee programs you might consider include:

  • Flexible scheduling optimized for your practice or organization
  • Generous time off and family leave policies
  • Gym memberships or a wellness stipend for each employee
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement planning and benefits
  • Pet insurance
  • Volunteer programs
  • Diversity and inclusion training and implementation efforts

The best way to find out what kinds of programs your employees would enjoy is to simply ask! Creating a workplace where feedback is welcomed, and valued is key to workplace and professional wellness. We recommend developing a regular practice of requesting honest employee feedback. If required, conducting exit interviews is important to understand the employee experience. Getting this feedback can help you proactively address employee concerns before they become larger issues that result in losing staff members.

If staff members believe their work and perspectives matter, they are more likely to contribute and engage with coworkers. 

#3 Create a Work Environment That Encourages Employee Engagement 

Due to the unpredictability of a dentist’s workload, schedule, and overtime, low engagement in the workplace is, unfortunately, very common — but it doesn’t have to be your ‘normal.’ As an employer, you can improve employee engagement with a few crucial changes:

  • Promote a positive work environment by keeping communication clear, systems in order, and stress levels as low as possible. 
  • Emphasize teamwork through enriching and entertaining employee events and experiences.
  • Recognize and appreciate the achievements of your coworkers and encourage them to do the same.

#4 Invest in Your Dental Employees’ Career Growth and Development

Most dentists and dental specialists are required to obtain continuing education credits, so supporting their career development with a continuing education allowance will further encourage their growth. When your employees earn CE credits, they will gain new perspectives, discoveries, and expertise for the practice. This education will also improve the services you offer and increase patient satisfaction. 

In addition to a CE allowance, we highly encourage all dental practices and organizations we work with to include a coaching and mentoring program as a benefit for their employees. These programs aim to make your practice a place where your staff feels they can deeply develop their careers on every level. 

If you struggle with giving these supports, start a mentorship or coaching program in your workplace. And remember, it’s much more efficient and cost-effective to invest in your staff members than it is to find new ones!

#5 Improve Your Hiring Process With a Recruitment Partner

A trial-and-error approach to your employee retention strategy can lead to costly mistakes and discouraging results. Using proven strategies for healthcare employee retention that are tailored to the dental industry and your individual practice or dental service organization is the best way to keep your best employees. 

A dental recruitment partner can help you attract, search for, and hire top talent. As well, they can also help you retain your healthcare employees. 

Choose Prodent to support your search for a dentist or specialist to join your staff. At Prodent we go above and beyond connecting you with the right employee — we bring a competitive edge to your organization. Our team of experts is always watching the dental job market, comparing opportunities, and generating time and money-saving insights that can help your company stand out to potential employees and stand up to its promises with hired ones. Our retention strategy services include the onboarding process, compensation and benefits, and more. 

From onboarding to ongoing employment, we can help you ensure you’re the most desirable dental organization to work for in the industry. 

Make the most of your retention efforts with us. Tell us about your hiring needs, and get in touch with our team today. 


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